THIBODAUX - The Nicholls State University baseball team (16-19, 6-11 Southland Conference) fell victim to Central Arkansas (18-17, 8-9 Southland) starter Dustin Ward, who limited the Colonels to just one run on seven hits. Meanwhile, the Bears struk for five runs in the first three innings en route to a 10-1 win on Saturday at Ray E. Didier Field.
Ward delivered his best outing of the season and one of the best outings of his career, striking out 13 Colonels and retiring 12 of 13 batters he faced from the second through the fifth innings en route to his complete game win. Ward was given a big lead to work with as UCA struck for two runs in the first, one in the second and two more in the third for a 5-0 lead after three.
Central Arkansas scored three more in the top of the sixth to take an 8-0 lead before the Colonels managed their first serious threat against Ward. Nicholls loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Ward struck out two straight batters to strand all three runners.
The Colonels finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth as sophomore second baseman Ray Eureste led off the inning by beating out an infield single before coming around to score on an RBI single by Blake Bergeron, who went 2-for-4 as the only Colonel to record a multi-hit game. Eureste's run made it 8-1 after six, but the Bears tacked on two more in the ninth for the 10-1 win.
Nicholls will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Ray E. Didier Field. A free live streaming audio webcast will be made available at www.geauxcolonels.com and at www.ThibodauxOnline.com.
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