HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana scored a pair of runs in the ninth Saturday, but the Lion rally came up short in a 3-2, Southland Conference loss to Nicholls at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Nicholls (21-20, 8-9 Southland) starting pitcher Mike Hanchar (3-3) came within one out of tossing a one-hit shutout against Southeastern (23-15, 11-9 Southland).
Taylor Schwaner, a junior from Slidell, Louisiana, chased Hanchar from the game in the ninth with a two-out double down the left-field line.
Ryan Byers, a senior from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, greeted reliever Adam Tarver with a single to left, putting runners on the corners.
Derrick Mount, a senior from Saucier, Mississippi, followed with an RBI double to left-center. Nicholls left fielder Chet Niehaus mishandled the ball, allowing Byers to score from first to pull the Lions within a run.
After a passed ball allowed Mount to advance to third, reliever Alex Ernestine walked pinch hitter Webb Bobo to put the potential winning run on base.
Mavrick Wilhite, pinch running for Bobo, stole second base, but Brennan Breaud grounded out to first to end the game.
Hanchar no-hit the Lions through five, surrendering a leadoff single to Breaud in the sixth. He earned the win, allowing one run on a pair of hits in 8.2 innings of work. Hanchar walked five and struck out 11 batters.
Ernestine earned the save, picking up the game’s final out.
Corey Gaconi (3-4) was the hard-luck loser, allowing three runs – only one earned – in 7.1 innings pitched. He scattered eight hits and one walk, striking out six batters.
Split one game apiece, the series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m. back at Ray E. Didier Field in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Nicholls has not announced a starting pitcher to oppose Lion sophomore righty Carlisle Koestler (1-2, 4.66).
Fans can listen to the series finale in the Hammond area on KSLU 90.9 FM, and worldwide online or through the TuneIn Radio app (search for KSLU). Nicholls will offer streaming video. Fans can also keep up with the game through live statistics or by following @SLUathletics on Twitter.
Links for audio, video and stats can be found on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Nicholls 3, Southeastern 2 (Apr 22, 2017 at Hammond, La.)
Nicholls…………… 001 101 000 – 3 8 1 (21-20, 8-9)
Southeastern…….. 000 000 002 – 2 4 2 (23-15, 11-9)
Pitchers: Nicholls – Hanchar, Mike; Tarver, Adam (9); Ernestine, Alex (9) and Tucker, Alex. Southeastern – Gaconi, Corey; Tassin, Bryce (8) and Pace, Evan.
Win-Hanchar, Mike (3-3) Save-Ernestine, Alex (1) Loss-Gaconi, Corey (3-4) T-2:52 A-1033
HR NICH – Teer, Gage (3).
Weather: Cloudy 85, SW 7 mph
Tarver, A. faced 2 batters in the 9th.