EUNICE, La. – In a week that has featured just about everything, it should come as no surprise that the Region 23 Tournament will come down to a winner take all. LSU Eunice had no answer for an impressive Meridian pitching performance as the Eagles upended the Bengals, 6-1.
LSU Eunice managed just four hits off MCC pitching, the third lowest output of the season. The Eagle arms also struck out Bengal bats 15 times, tying a season-high.
The Bengals looked like they would draw first blood after being issued three walks to load the bases with one out. Meridian would pull starter Jackson Bridges and Matthew Harrison would get out of the jam, striking out the next two Bengal batters.
Meridian would get the first runs on the board with three in the third inning off LSUE starter Stephen Koza. The Eagles pounded four consecutive hits to set the stage for the early lead. Koza was tagged with the loss after 2.1 innings of work.
Brian Fairbanks kept hope alive for LSUE, stringing together four innings of no-hit relief but gave up a run in the seventh off the only LSU Eunice error of the game.
The LSUE offense showed signed of life late, loading the bases in the seventh but coming up empty handed. Hayden Mixon drove in the only run of the game in the eighth after Slate Fuller led off the frame with a double.
Matthew Harrison picked up the win after striking out eight Bengal batters in 3.2 innings of work. Hunter Stanley stemmed the tide by striking out five of the seven batters he faced to close the game.
LSU Eunice and Meridian will meet again tomorrow at 1:00PM with the winner taking home the Region 23 Championship and a spot in the NJCAA World Series. The game can be seen live on Bengal All-Access.