Nicholls offense explodes for 15 in rout over SFA

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THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University baseball program made a statement Friday night in its 15-6 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Ray E. Didier Field.

This is the first time since May 20, 2010, the Colonels plated 15 runs in a Southland Conference contest; Nicholls last achieved the feat in a 15-3 win over McNeese. The Colonels were also issued 11 free passes, the most since May 20, 2013, also against McNeese.

The Colonels (24-23, 11-11 SLC) were fronted offensively by junior first baseman Kyle Knauth who reached base in all six plate appearances. He finished 3-for-3 with four runs, three RBIs and three walks. Knauth’s night was capped by an eighth-inning two-run homer that scored Nicholls’ 14th and 15th runs.

Senior Cole Stapler improved to 6-5 as he went 6.0 innings and gave up just three runs while striking out six.

Nine Colonels finished the game with at least one hit and three with multiple knocks including Knauth, senior Quade Smith and junior Joey Morales. Knauth, fellow senior Alex Tucker and junior Gavin Wehby produced three RBIs apiece.

Nicholls was ahead 7-3 when it managed a four-run fifth inning to break the game open. Wehby and Tucker each had two-RBI singles during the barrage.

The Colonels handed Patrick Ledet his fourth loss of the season, dropping his record to 6-4 overall and 5-2 in league play. Ledet walked four straight batters in the first inning and surrendered six runs and four hits in 2.1 innings of work.

SFA (25-22, 13-9 SLC) was led at the dish by designated hitter Josh Evans who notched three hits.

Nicholls returns to action against the Lumberjacks in Game 2 Saturday. First pitch at the Did is set for 6 p.m.

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