ENID, Okla. – LSU Eunice used a pair of three-run home runs to take down Parkland College 9-5 in the opening game of the NJCAA Division II Championship Series. The Bengals (58-6) overcame an early deficit for the third consecutive game.
Parkland College used a pair of two-out RBIs to go ahead 2-1 after 3.5 innings, but set the stage for what’s become habit for the Bengals at the World Series. Cameron Horton lifted a three-run opposite field home run to give LSUE the lead for good, 4-2. Horton became the fifth different Bengal to hit a home run at David Allen Memorial this weekend.
Brian Fairbanks held serve for LSUE on the mound. The redshirt freshman received a no decision after throwing four innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks. Fairbanks also struck out two batters.
LSUE built up a 9-3 advantage thanks to a run scoring double by Mason Templet in the fifth inning and Koi Westbrook’s three-run no doubter home run to right center in the sixth inning.
Westbrook and Templet both collected multi-hit games in LSUE’s eight-hit effort. LSUE also stole five bases with Westbrook and Richard swiping a pair each.
Noah Beason (3-0) picked up the win after relieving Brian Fairbanks for two innings. The freshman threw two complete innings, giving up one run off two hits and a walk. Jacob Spell allowed two runs in the seventh to allow the Cobras to creep to 9-5.
Justin Barton, Austin Bradford and Landon Clifton shut down the Parkland bats for the final 2.1 innings, giving up two hits to close out the game.
Josh Garner was tabbed with the loss after throwing five innings for the Cobras.
The 58th for LSU Eunice sets a new single-season program record, breaking the 2012 team’s 57-win mark. This year’s team tied the 2016 squad with 50 regular season wins, also a Bengals’ standard.
LSU Eunice will face Parkland College on Friday for Game Two of the Championship Series with a start time of 7:00PM. With a win, the Bengals would clinch the NJCAA Division II National Championship.
The game can be seen live on-line by NJCAA TV and heard 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.