THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University baseball program found itself down 7-1 after three and a half innings but tallied eight runs in the final five frames to top UIW 9-8 Saturday afternoon at Ray E. Didier Field.
“You know our backs were against the wall a little bit. Down 7-1 some things weren’t going our way and every single baseball was bouncing against us,” said Nicholls head baseball coach Seth Thibodeaux. “Our guys never really panicked at all. I think that you just saw a sense of urgency come around a little bit. Finding a way to win on the toughest day of the week and in a tough moment was a total tribute and tip of the hat to our players.”
After a four-run fourth inning gave UIW (16-20, 5-10 SLC) the aforementioned six-run advantage, Nicholls (20-18, 7-8 SLC) commenced the comeback with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Junior infielder Gage Teer singled up the middle, scoring fellow junior shortstop Joey Morales.
The Colonels then put up four runs in the bottom of the fifth on four hits, highlighted by a pair of two-RBI hits from Morales and junior outfielder Chet Niehaus to put the Colonels within one at 7-6.
Nicholls reliever Adam Tarver entered in the top of the sixth. He allowed one unearned run in the inning before blanking the Cardinals for the final three frames.
UIW led 8-6 after six innings of play. The Colonels tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when senior catcher Alex Tucker connected on a two-out, two-RBI double down the left-field line.
“I knew they were going to be throwing for the punch-out or the groundout. I just really fought hard. I got behind 0-2, but I fouled off some tough pitches and then was able to flip one over third. I had guys telling me that I was going to come back in a big situation and it happened,” said Tucker.
Senior designated hitter Juan Givan then walked to start the eighth. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, he scored the game-winning run on Niehaus’ double to right field.
The Colonels collected 13 hits with Morales, Niehaus, Tucker and junior first baseman Kyle Knauth all earning at least two each. Knauth, Morales and Niehaus, the top-three hitters in the lineup, batted .467 (7-for-15) in the contest.
Tarver picked up his seventh win of the season, tossing a season-high 4.0 innings. He scattered four hits and struck out four.
Nicholls handed Cardinals closer Lance Moszkowicz his second loss of the season as he gave up the hit to Niehaus in the eighth.
The Colonels outscored UIW 3-0 in the seventh and eighth innings and hold a 42-11 advantage in those innings at the Did this season. In home games, Nicholls holds a 5-1 mark on the year.
The Colonels travel to MGM Park Tuesday in Biloxi, Mississippi, to face Southern Miss in a 6:30 p.m. battle.