SUGAR LAND, TEXAS - In the first game of the elimination bracket, the No. 7 Nicholls Colonels came out on top 10-4 over No. 6 McNeese. Nicholls racked up 10 runs on just a dozen hits to
The Colonels got on the board first, spurred by a double down the right field line in their first at-bat by Ethan Valdez. Joey Morales and Chet Niehaus grounded out to second base back-to-back to send Valdez home for a 1-0 lead at the bottom of the first. Nicholls doubled its lead at the bottom of the second with a Dillon Belle sac fly to bring Lee Clark home for a 2-0 edge.
Another sac fly at the bottom of the third from Morales made it a 3-0 game in favor of Nicholls. McNeese had runners on second and third at the top of the fifth with one out and Joe Provenzano brought Jacob Stracner home to pull the Cowboys to within two runs at 3-1.
The sac flies kept coming as one at the bottom of the sixth plated another for Nicholls and put a runner on third, followed by a deep RBI double to the right field corner for a 5-1 Colonels' lead. Despite the score, two sides had matched each other with seven hits apiece through the top of the seventh.
Morales continued his strong outing with an RBI single to right field, bringing in Nicholls' sixth run of the game at the bottom of seventh.
The Colonels put up four more runs at the bottom of the eighth to put the game even more out of reach, 10-2. The Cowboys registered two more runs at the top of the ninth but fell by a final score of 10-4.
Nicholls notched its 10 runs on a dozen hits, led by Brady Bell who was 3-of-4 while scoring three runs. Right-hander Cayden Hatcher tossed eight innings, giving up just one earned run and eight hits on 130 pitches.
McNeese is eliminated while Nicholls will face the loser between No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 3 Northwestern State tomorrow at 9 a.m.