LSU-Eunice wins NJCAA World Series opener

LSU-Eunice won its first game at the 2013 NJCAA Division II World Series in dramatic fashion Saturday morning, coming from behind for a 4-3 victory over Lackawanna College thanks to Garrett Deschamp’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Bengals (49-8) opened the ninth with a single from Buddy McCoy, who was lifted for pinch runner Keagan Kratzer. Landon Thibodeaux then laid down a bunt, but Lackawanna pitcher Jordan Meyer fielded the ball and threw it into center field, allowing Kratzer to advance to third with the potential winning run.

Deschamp sent a 1-2 pitch deep into left-center field, where it short-hopped the wall for the game-winner.

“It was a great ballgame,” LSU-Eunice coach Jeff Willis said. “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.”

Casey Rodrigue and Thibodeaux led the offense with two hits each. The Bengals collected nine hits in all and got RBIs from Rodrigue, Deschamp and Evan Powell.

Relief pitcher Trae Hester earned his second win of the season after striking out four of the five batters he faced over the final 1.2 innings. He gave up one hit and a walk.

LSU-Eunice starter Brady Domangue, an LSU signee, did not factor in the decision after tossing 7.1 innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits, walking five and striking out five.

The Bengals stranded 14 base runners — including two or more runners in five different innings.

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 the score and took the lead with one run in the fourth and sixth innings. Thibodeaux singled to lead off the fourth inning, then advanced to second on a walk, stole third and trotted home as the ball sailed into left field.

LSU-Eunice took the lead in the sixth on Powell’s solo homer down the left-field line, 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 score Tyler Champman, who led off the inning with a single.

LSU-Eunice advanced into the winners bracket and will play at 7 p.m. Monday against the Scottsdale Community College.

Scottsdale defeated Grand Rapids Community College later Saturday.