Northwestern State's bullpen held Louisiana Tech to no runs in the final six innings to give the Demon offense a chance to score two combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings grab a 2-1 win over Louisiana Tech Wednesday night in non-conference action at J.C. Love Field.
Northwestern State improved to 16-12 on the season, and tied the total wins last year's club gathered. Louisiana Tech dropped to 9-18, and lost the rivalry game for the first time since 2008.
Joey Parrack, Andrew Adams and Steven Spann accounted for the final five innings of the game, and allowed only one hit apiece. Parrack (1-0) took the win on two innings pitched with one walk and three strikeouts. Adams worked two innings and struck out four, and Spann (2) earned the save in the ninth inning.
Evan Tidwell was the first reliever out of the bullpen. He pitched three innings and allowed one run with one strikeout in 12 batters faced.
"I told our club that good teams find a way to win when you don't play your best ball," said head coach Lane Burroughs. "A lot of that had to do with Louisiana Tech. They are a good club and coached very well.
"I'm real proud of our pitchers," he said. "Evan Tidwell came in and calmed the storm. Andrew Adams and Joey Parrack, our lefties, were lights out, and Steven Spann closed the door."
Northwestern State took advantage of a Louisiana Tech error in the fifth inning that allowed Bret Underwood to tie the game at 1-1. He lined a one-out single to right field and took second on a single from Regan Kaufman two pitches later. After a Demon flyout, Underwood scored from second base when second baseman Thomas Simoneaux let the ball get by him on a fielder's choice play from shortstop Taylor Love.
Parrack finished the fifth inning with a perfect bottom that included two strikeouts.
Caleb Dugas singled through the right side with one out in the sixth, and advanced to second on a double to right center field off of the bat of Cort Brinson. After a pitching chance, Daughdrill put the ball in play and grabbed his 24th run knocked on when Dugas scored.
The Demons' leader in RBIs last season was Will Watson who had 23.
Brinson led the Demons, who collected six hits, with two base knocks in the game. He, along with Underwood, also reached base on a walk.
Taylor Burch led off the third inning with a double to left field, and advanced to third base on a passed ball that got by Demon catcher Garrett Logan. Burch scored a sacrifice fly to deep right center field from Taylor Love that scored the game's first run. Tidwell induced two ground balls to get out of the inning.
Louisiana Tech had 11 hits in the game and drew one walk and struck out 10 times. Colby Johnson, Tyler Qualls and Tyler Ervine had two hits each.
Cameron Brewer started the game for NSU and pitched one inning and allowed four hits in six batters faced. Love led of the game with a single to right field, but was doubled off in the next at-bat when Bre'shon Kimble hit a towering fly ball to the left field wall that Brinson was able to corral. Love was halfway between second and third base when Joel Atkinson had a great cut to Dugas at first.
"Our guys are playing hard, playing loose, and having fun," said Burroughs. "Right now our guys are playing with a lot of confidence and it is fun to watch. It's fun to be around them because they are having a good time.
"Just like tonight, we didn't play our best ball, but we found a way to win," he said.
Northwestern State hosts Nicholls State in a potential early battle for first place in a three-game conference set that starts at 6:30 on Friday night. Nicholls is atop the Southland Conference standings with a 7-2 league record, one game in front of the Demons.