May 25, 2013 7:36 PM by LSUE Sports Information
The LSU Eunice baseball team won its opening game of the 2013 NJCAA Division II World Series in dramatic fashion Saturday morning, coming from behind for a 4-3 victory over Lackawanna College capped off by Garrett Deschamp's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Bengals (49-8) saw the ninth inning open with a single from Buddy McCoy, before he was lifted for pinch-runner Keagan Kratzer. Landon Thibodeaux's bunt attempt was thrown into center field by the Lackawanna pitcher to give LSU Eunice the winning run 90 feet away for Deschamp.
Deschamp delivered, sending a 1-2 pitch deep into left-center field, short-hopping the wall for the game winner.
"It was a great ballgame. Our guys battled. I'm really proud of our guys and the way they competed today to get that first W. At this time of the year, you don't get any style points. You just want to win and move on,' head coach Jeff Willis said.
Casey Rodrigue and Thibodeaux led the offense with two hits each, while the Bengals collected nine total hits in the game, with RBIs coming from Rodrigue, Deschamp and Evan Powell.
Bengal reliever Trae Hester earned his second win of the season after striking out four of the five batters he faced over the final 1 2/3 innings, also giving up one hit and a walk.
LSU Eunice starter Brady Domangue did not factor in the decision after tossing 7 1/3 innings of work and allowing three runs on eight hits, walking five and striking out five batters.
The Bengals left 14 men on base in the game, including leaving two men on base to end five different innings before coming through in the ninth inning.
Defensively, LSU Eunice turned three double plays behind Domangue as well.
After giving up a run to Lackawanna (41-19) in the top of the first inning, the Bengals tied and took the lead with a run in both the fourth and sixth innings, first in the fourth when Thibodeaux singled to lead off the inning before advancing to second on a walk, stealing third and trotting home as the ball sailed into left field.
In the sixth inning, LSU Eunice took the lead on Powell's solo homer down the line in left field, but Lackawanna scored two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead.
The Bengals again responded, this time with a two-out single by Rodrigue to plate Tyler Champman, who led off the inning with a single, to set up the ninth inning.
LSU Eunice now advances into the winners bracket and will play the third and final game of Monday night at 7 p.m. against the winner of today's Scottsdale Community College/Grand Rapids Community College game.