NATCHITOCHES – Jacob Farrell got the Northwestern State baseball team off and running Tuesday night.
The Demon bullpen then took care of things down the stretch, polishing off a 6-2 victory against ULM at Brown-Stroud Field that capped a season sweep of the Warhawks.
“Throwing strikes, staying ahead in counts, staying out of hitters’ counts – we did a good job of that tonight,” seventh-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “Chase (Prestwich) was great. He wasn’t as sharp as he has been, but he battled. Dawson (Flowers) was really good. We needed that from him after a couple of tough ones. (Andrew) Cossio, same thing.”
Prestwich (3-0) gave the Demons another strong mid-week start, scattering six hits in five innings but limiting the damage to a single run in the fourth inning.
By then, Northwestern State (10-6) had built a 5-0 lead thanks in part to Farrell’s first career leadoff home run and a three-run blast from Gabe Colaianni that punctuated a four-run third inning.
Farrell’s solo shot on a 2-2 pitch from ULM starter Hollis Huff (1-1) gave the Demons the start they needed. A fifth-year junior who has worked his way into the everyday lineup, Farrell homered for the second time in the past seven games and delivered NSU’s first leadoff home run since Larson Fontenot’s inside-the-park starter against Lamar on March 24, 2019.
“I was trying to get a pitch to put in play, and luckily it went out of the park,” Farrell said. “I knew as soon as I hit it. I felt called to be here and wanted to be here. I believed in myself, and the Lord gave me a chance to play. I’m very grateful for that.”
The Demons were equally grateful for Farrell’s glovework.
After a 1-2-3 sixth inning by Flowers, Farrell helped the right-hander stay perfect on the night with a fully extended diving catch in left-center field that took extra bases away from ULM’s Riley Davis.
Flowers then retired Cardell Thibodeaux on a ground ball to end the seventh and pitch multiple innings for the first time in his six appearances this season. A year ago, Flowers recorded more than three outs in eight of his 20 relief appearances.
“Me and (assistant coach) Dan (Hlad) and coach Barbier have been talking about staying within myself and not getting caught up in my emotions – basically competing too hard,” Flowers said. “Just do what I do every pitch and let the results be what they are.”
Flowers’ two hitless innings were his longest outing without allowing a hit since March 1, 2022, when he held UL Lafayette hitless for two innings.
Cossio followed Flowers out of the NSU bullpen and ran into trouble after retiring Carson Jones on a grounder to start the inning. A single by Shawn Dalton Weatherbee (3-for-4) and a walk to Davis Meche, who battled back from an 0-2 count, preceded Kade Dupont’s RBI double and put runners on second and third with one out.
Cossio struck out pinch hitter Jarrett McDonald and retired Zack Floyd (2-for-4) to maintain the Demons’ four-run advantage.
“He’s given that up in the past when some bad stuff happens, but he matured and locked it in,” Barbier said. “It was good to see on the mound. That and we played good defense. We made some really nice defensive plays.”
Jeffrey Elkins and Michael Dattalo each had a pair of hits for Northwestern State. Each team finished with eight hits, but the Demons mixed in their two home runs and an Elkins double in their total while Dupont’s eighth-inning double was ULM’s lone extra-base hit.
The Demons return to action Friday when they host Little Rock in the opener of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Brown-Stroud Field.
Northwestern State 6, ULM 2
ULM 000 100 010 – 2 8 3
NSU 104 000 10x – 6 8 1
W – Chase Prestwich (3-0). L – Hollis Huff (1-1). 2B – ULM, Kade Dupont. NSU, Jeffrey Elkins. HR – NSU, Jacob Farrell (2), Gabe Colaianni (2). Highlights: ULM, Shawn Dalton Weatherbee 3-4; Dupont 2-4, 2B, RBI. NSU, Elkins 2-3, 2B; Michael Dattalo 2-4.
Records: ULM 7-11; Northwestern State 10-6.