NEW ORLEANS – Redshirt senior Mike Hanchar tossed his first career complete-game shutout Saturday against the University of New Orleans as the Nicholls State University baseball program won 3-0 to even the series on Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark.
“[Hanchar] was pretty impressive. His fastballs in the eighth and ninth innings were better than the first and second,” said head baseball coach Seth Thibodeaux. “He made some great adjustments from last week. He put us on his back and did a phenomenal job tonight.”
Hanchar (4-4) scattered six hits, struck out six and issued just one walk while throwing 113 pitches. The Highland, Indiana, native gave up multiple hits in just one inning and retired the side on three separate occasions. Hanchar and UNO starter Bryan Warzek threw up zeroes for the first six innings until the Colonels offense came alive in the top of the seventh.
“I feel like I was able to work my fastball on both sides of the plate,” Hanchar said. “To be able to come to their place and get a win, that’s huge. Now we just have to take care of business tomorrow.”
Junior outfielder Gavin Wehby commenced the two-out rally in the seventh by poking a single to left field. Junior shortstop Joey Morales then ripped a 2-2 pitch down the right-field line for a double, scoring Wehby. Morales advanced home on a single to right field from junior first baseman Kyle Knauth, giving Nicholls a 2-0 advantage.
The Colonels added an insurance run in the eighth when Morales stroked a two-out single to right field that scored senior catcher Alex Tucker.
Knauth and Morales each finished with two hits and the duo accounted for all three RBIs.
Warzek entered the contest with the second-lowest ERA among Southland Conference starters. Nicholls handed him his third loss of the season, dropping his overall record to 7-3. Warzk allowed six hits and two earned runs.
The rubber match between the two teams will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. on Ben Meyer Diamond at Ray E. Didier Field.