NATCHITOCHES – It had been more than 11 years since a Northwestern State baseball player hit two triples in a game and more than five years since a Demon touched home plate four times in the same game.
A couple of Demons needed just six innings to change the above statements Wednesday afternoon. Cade Jones delivered two, two-run triples and Spencer Goodwin scored four times, leading Northwestern State to a 14-0 victory and a two-game sweep of Mississippi Valley State on Kids Day at Brown-Stroud Field.
“It’s nice being in the fifth inning and the game is fairly in hand,” first-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “Credit our guys. Today’s game was shaky. We played last night, had a good win, then you have to be out here at noon. We had a bunch of kids here. They provided some energy that you normally wouldn’t have for a noon game.”
The Demons (15-25) wasted little time jumping on the visiting Delta Devils (6-29) as NSU scored four first-inning runs, sparked by Jones’ two-run triple to the left-center field gap.
Unlike Tuesday night’s series opener when the Demons put it away with a seven-run sixth inning, Northwestern State got its big inning much earlier.
Jones shot his second two-run triple inside the right-field line to highlight a seven-run third inning that gave the Demons a 12-0 lead after three innings.
“We wanted to jump out on them, be aggressive, get ahead early and make it not last all nine,” said Jones, who became the first Demon with two triples in a single game since Brandon Morgan against Grambling on March 14, 2006.
After not hitting a triple in his first two seasons in Natchitoches, Jones has a team-leading three triples through 40 games.
Jones brought home Goodwin and David Fry (3-for-3, 3 RBIs) with each of his triples on a day where the Demons invoked the mercy rule behind a 14-hit attack and four pitchers who combined to limit the Delta Devils to four singles.
In the two games, six Demons pitchers combined to allow just nine singles and did not allow an earned run in 16 innings.
“Our guys came out and did a good job of swinging the bat and our guys on the mound shut them down,” Barbier said.
Goodwin again was a spark at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. He finished the two-game series 7-for-10 with four runs scored and two RBIs out of the leadoff spot.
“He’s learned how to be in that spot – how to work counts, get his pitch and hit it,” Barbier said. “He has seven hits in the past two games. He’s stepped up when we needed somebody at the top of the lineup.”
Kwanstan Adkins joined Goodwin, Fry and Jones in the multi-hit club for the Demons while Miller Parker drove in three runs for the second time in the Demons’ past three mid-week contests.
The Demons return to action Friday afternoon at Houston Baptist. The opener of the three-game Southland Conference series is set to start Friday with an 11 a.m. doubleheader. The series wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m.
Northwestern State 14, Mississippi Valley State 0 (7 innings)
MVSU 000 000 0 – 0 4 1
NSU 417 200 x – 14 14 2
W – Evan Tidwell (3-5). L – Connor Sheppeard (0-2). 2B – NSU, Spencer Goodwin; David Fry 2; Caleb Ricca. 3B – NSU, Cade Jones 2. Highlights: MVSU, Malkas Lipsey 2-3. NSU, Goodwin 3-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Fry 3-3, 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs; Jones 2-2, 2 3Bs, 4 RBIs; Kwanstan Adkins 2-3.
Records: Mississippi Valley State 6-29; Northwestern State 15-25.