Timely hitting, pitching lift Colonels to emotional series win over SFA Sunday

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THIBODAUX, La. – On a Sunday where the Nicholls State University baseball program officially adopted Ben Meyer Diamond as part of Ray E. Didier Field, the Colonels gutted out a 3-1 victory in the rubber match against Stephen F. Austin.

“Our players are fighting together,” said head baseball coach Seth Thibodeaux. “Regardless of who gets the credit, I don’t think anyone cares right now. I think they are just falling in love with the game, winning and competing in the moment. I am very proud of their efforts.”

Junior third baseman Gage Teer ripped a two-out double to right-center in the fifth that scored senior Juan Givan and junior Gavin Wehby. The Colonels (24-24, 11-12 SLC) added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Wehby.

Those two scoring plays happened while junior starter Alex Ernestine (2-3) wiggled around 10 hits to escape unscathed after 5.2 innings. The Lumberjacks (26-23, 14-10 SLC) had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings. The threat in the top of the second was halted when Wehby fielded a two-out single in center field and threw out Jarrod Huber at the plate.

Sophomore Adam Tarver entered with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth. He sat down Nick Ramos on a 1-2 curveball to keep SFA scoreless.

Tarver surrendered an Alex Hrinevich two-out double to right center that scored Josh Evans, which gave the Lumberjacks their lone run. The sophomore right-hander got the next batter to ground out to end the frame.

Tarver recorded a strikeout and three consecutive walks in the eighth before freshman Austin Bollinger took the mound. Cool and composed, Bollinger struck out Evans, the league’s top hitter, swinging and Michener looking on a full-count heater. Bollinger hit the first batter in the ninth before retiring the side to earn the first save of his career.

“It’s always fun. If you go in there nervous or don’t have fun, then that’s when stuff starts going bad for you. It’s always fun no matter what situation I am put into,” Bollinger said.

The Colonels handed Erik Nouis the loss, dropping his record to 2-3 on the season. Nicholls collected four hits and scored all three runs on Nouis’ account.

The Colonels are now in a three-way tie for seventh with Lamar and New Orleans. Nicholls won two out of three at Lamar last weekend.

“All the thanks in the world goes to an awesome person and supporter in Tommy Meyer. He’s been there since I took over as head coach. I appreciate him and his family and our guy’s efforts today,” Thibodeaux said.

The Colonels return to action Wednesday at the Did in a 6 p.m. contest against Jackson State University.

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