BRCC splits doubleheader, breaks Delgado win streak

NEW ORLEANS — Baton Rouge Community College snapped Delgado’s 19-game winning streak, as Jared Keating pitched a two-hitter and Nick Ber singled in a run in the sixth inning for a 1-0 victory Saturday at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.

The victory over the Dolphins, ranked 11th in the NJCAA, came in the Miss-Lou Conference opener for both teams and in the first game of a doubleheader. The streak was a school record, and the loss was the Dolphins’ first in March.

Delgado (28-4) gained a split by winning the second game 4-0 over the Bears (18-20) behind the three-hit pitching of Pierce Liberta.

In the first game, Ber singled in Bond Babin with two outs in the sixth. Babin had led off the inning with a single off Delgado starter Christian Trent (4-1), then was sacrificed to second by Jacob Williams.

“It was a fastball outside,” Ber said of his RBI single. “Coach (L.J. Dupuy) told me to expect something outside. It was a good call.”

Keating (5-3) allowed a single in the first inning to the Dolphins’ Logan Jones, then retired nine consecutive batters before outfielder Bubby Riley singled to right. Keating issued only one-out walks to Logan Jones in the sixth and one to Cameron Hoffman in the seventh the rest of the way.

Keating, who played at St. Charles Catholic High, said he wanted to win the game badly, but not to end Delgado’s streak.

“I grew up playing against a lot of their players in travel ball and high school,” he said.

In the second game, the Dolphins struck early. Jones walked leading off the bottom of the first and scored on a triple down the right-field line by Brady Williamson. Williamson scored on Bears catcher Blake Hymel’s errant pickoff attempt at third.

Delgado scored two runs in the third. Riley led off with a walk and scored on Austin Barrios’ sacrifice fly, and Cameron Hoffman, who reached on an infield single, came in on Chris Eades’ double.

BRCC’s Kelby Blalock (5-3) pitched three innings, allowing five hits, three walks and all four runs.

“Scoring early helped a lot,” said Liberta (3-0), who had four strikeouts and didn’t allow a walk. “I knew they would be riled up pretty good after winning the first game. I worked fast, but I tried to mix my pitches and stay ahead in the count.”

The series’ final game is at 1 p.m. Sunday. Jacob Williams (0-0), who usually plays shortstop, will take the mound for the Bears. Chase Hymel (4-0) will pitch for Delgado.