Warhawks clinch series victory with Sunday win Salukis

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MONROE, La. – The ULM baseball pitching staff stranded 11 different Southern Illinois baserunners throughout Sunday’s action, including a trio of bases loaded instances, as the Warhawks grabbed a Sunday victory by a 6-2 score to notch their first series victory of the season.

THE BASICS
FINAL SCORE: ULM 6, Southern Illinois 2
LOCATION: Warhawk Field / Monroe, La.
RECORDS: ULM (3-4, 0-0 SBC), Southern Illinois (4-3, 0-0 MVC)

TURNING POINT
-With Southern Illinois already having scored two runs in the sixth inning and the Warhawks holding a 3-2 advantage, shortstop Anthony Herrera went deep in the hole to start an inning ending double play (the third of the game) to get ULM out of the jam. The Warhawks would go on to allow only one Southern Illinois baserunner over the final three innings while adding on to their lead with three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

HOW IT HAPPENED
-ULM jumped on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the fourth inning when Turner Francis doubled and scored on Chad Bell’s RBI single before adding two runs in the fifth frame, first on a Southern Illinois wild pitch before Spencer Hemphill’s RBI single extended the lead to 3-0.
-Southern Illinois cut into the Warhawk lead in the top of the sixth with the two early runs in the inning before Chase Cater came out of the bullpen for ULM and got the visitors to ground into the double play started by Herrera as he ranged into the hole towards third base to end the inning.
-The Warhawks added three final runs in the eighth, first on a fielding error to notch a run before the afternoon was capped off by Brian Barefoot’s two-run homer over the left field wall.
-Francis, Barefoot and Nate Reynolds each finished with two hits as ULM collected 10 hits as a team, with Hemphill, Bell and Barefoot (two) driving in the RBI. Francis, Herrera and Johnny DeLaCruz each notched doubles in the victory.
-ULM starter Chase Beal earned his first victory as a Warhawk, allowing just two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work with five strikeouts before Herrera tallied his first save of the year with 1 2/3 innings of relief with two strikeouts.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
-The Sunday win secured ULM’s first series victory of 2017 after finishing last season with six series victories.
-ULM moves to 2-2 at home at Warhawk Field this season, a place they will now be away from for the next two and a half weeks as the team embarks on a 10-game road trip, its longest of the season.
-DeLaCruz leads the Warhawks with a team-high .458 batting average through the first two weeks of the season, while he also leads the team with four doubles as ULM has 21 total extra-base hits as a team to date (17 doubles, four home runs).
-Beal becomes the first ULM pitcher to double-digit strikeouts with 12 in two starts, while Herrera now has nine strikeouts over three relief appearances.

UP NEXT
-ULM now sets out on the first leg of its 10-game road trip with its first two midweek road contests of the season. The Warhawks will make the short trip to face Jackson State at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday night before traveling to McNeese on Wednesday night, also a 6:00 p.m. start.

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Nick Phillips

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