EUNICE, La. – LSU Eunice responded to its first loss of the Region 23 Tournament in style, dominating Meridian 10-3 on its way to a berth in the NJCAA Division II World Series. It is the Bengals’ ninth trip to the World Series and first since 2015.
LSUE (54-6) capitalized on early Meridian miscues, scoring two runs in the first inning after the first two baserunners reach on walks. Mason Templet sacrificed in Brent Hebert and Slate Fuller doubled home Andrew Sheridan to give the Bengals an early 2-0 lead. A two-out Evan Keller triple and a wild pitch pushed the game to 3-0 in the second inning.
That was more than enough for a spectacular afternoon for Zach Hester. The sophomore earned his second win of the Region 23 Tournament with a six inning effort, giving up one earned run on five hits and two walks. Hester (12-1) struck out five batters on the day and sat down the Eagles in order three times.
Following a run for each team to make it 4-1 through five innings, the Eagles threatened in the sixth with two runners on and one out. Hester struck out the next two batters to squash the MCC opportunity.
LSU Eunice would break open the game in the bottom of the inning, thanks in large part to Koi Westbrook. The Carencro HS product doubled home Cameron Horton then scored after wild throw on a stolen base attempt allowed Westbrook to score. Brent Hebert drove in the final run of the inning, singling home Keller to help LSUE take a 7-1 edge.
The Bengals would push their tally to ten runs after a Slate Fuller sacrifice in the seventh and Koi Westbrook reaching safely on an error and then scoring on a wild pitch in the eighth.
Mason Templet and Evan Keller were the lone Bengals to record multi-hit games with Keller scoring three times.
The Eagles would load the bases in the ninth before Justin Barton closed the door with a ground out to Koi Westbrook to seal the victory. Barton joined Jacob Spell, Austin Bradford and Landon Clifton as relievers to come out of the LSUE bullpen.
LSU Eunice will find out its seeding tomorrow for the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma. The ten-team double elimination tournament will have two separate five-team brackets with the winners meeting in a 1 to 3 game series. All game will be televised on-line on NJCAA TV and can be heard live on the Bayou Sports Network with Randy Guillory on the call.
Fans can also follow the baseball team’s Twitter (@LSUEBengalsBSB), Facebook (@LSUEuniceBaseball) and Instagram (@LSUEBengals) accounts.