Pilots claim 4th conference championship - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Pilots claim 4th conference championship


HAWKINS, Tex. - For the 4th time in LSU Shreveport Baseball history the Pilots was crowned the Regular Season Champions and it was their third title in the Red River Athletic Conference. The 8th ranked Pilots clinched the championship with a 9-2 win over the Jarvis Christian Bulldogs in game one of today's double header to wrap up the 2014 regular season schedule at Bulldogs Field.

LSUS head Coach Al Cantwell picks up his first conference championship in just his first season as the skipper, "What a weekend. I am so proud of our guys for what they accomplished together. Game one today put a stamp on a very challenging and competitive conference season."

The Pilots were paced at the plate by Connor McMullin who had a fantastic week swinging the stick. His 4-for-4 performance in game one helped to drive in two runs and put a stamp on the week where he finished 13-for-18 at the dish. He drove in a run with a single in the 2nd and 4th innings as the Pilots led 4-1 after four complete.

The Bulldogs made a run but left two stranded in the bottom of the 5th inning as they left runners on 1st and 2nd. The Pilots took the momentum and ran with it scoring five runs in the top of the 5th with David Diaz collecting the big hit of the inning with two outs, a three-run inside the park home run as he finished 2-for4 for the game! The next two batters drew walks and then Caleb Killian ripped a two-run pinch-hit double down the right field line to put the game out of reach if it wasn't already after Diaz's homer. The Pilots led 9-1 at that point.

LSUS had a trio on the mound combine to shut down the Jarvis offense. Starter Jake Hansen (5-0) was perfect through three innings but allowed a hit and an unearned run in the last inning (4th) of work. Jason Mouton and Ian Ham finished off the game as the Pilots claimed the title. Mouton worked the 5th and 6th while Ham retired three of the four batters he faced in the final inning.

Regular Season Conference Titles for LSUS Baseball:
2005-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC)

GAME 2 (L, 5-4)
The second game of the day put a damper of winning the regular season title in game one but the Pilots let another one slip away in the last inning making it the fourth time this season they have been walked off. The Pilots held a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning but Jarvis' leadoff batter beat out an infield hit to put the tying run on the bases.

The next batter laid down a sac bunt but the throw to second was wild allowing the runner to advance one base but then the Pilots bobbled the ball in the outfield allowing the runner to advance another 90-feet and score the tying run and get the winning run into scoring position still with no outs.

LSUS closer Brandon Russell bared down and retired the next two batters and induced a deep fly ball to right field that was dropped allowing the winning run to score.

The Pilots were cruising in the game supporting a three-run lead as starter pitcher Dustin Doucette retired all but two batters he had faced through four innings. The fifth inning arrived and things did not go has they had in the previous four innings as Jarvis scored three runs to tie the game on two walks and two hits.

All scoring ceased until the wild 9th inning.

"We learned a lot about ourselves today," said Coach Cantwell following the loss. "We played too emotional and out of character for our program. On a night when we all should be excited about winning the championship, I think we understand that at the end of the day that was not the type of competition we want to be a part of , win or lose, and I put the blame on myself."

"Moving forward, I think today gives us that extra motivation to prepare to host a great tournament and prepare to play our best brand of baseball we have seen all year. In the end, it is a great day to be a Pilot! In the words of the late-great Mr. Charlie Mc, Yee-Yee!"

The Pilots will host the RRAC Tournament for the 4th consecutive year at Pilots Field next weekend (May 2-5). The Pilots will be aiming for their 8th tournament title in the last 9 tries. They have won the previous four conference tournaments winning the GCAC tourney in 2010 and having claimed the past three RRAC Tournaments since rejoining the conference for the 2010 season.

LSUS will begin their tournament title defense on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Pilots Field against the winner of the #4 Wiley College Wildcats and the #5 Texas College Steers which will be the first game of the day at 11:30 a.m. This year's tournament consists of five teams, double elimination. The second game of the day begins at 3 p.m. and matches the #2 Jarvis Christian Bulldogs against the #3 Bacone Warriors. The Pilots garner the no. 1 seed in the tournament for winning the regular season.









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