LEWISTON – Gutsy performances by Trent Sellers and Greg Blackman, as well as clutch, hitting and a home run by Pu’ukani De Sa, propelled LC State past fourth-seeded LSU Shreveport on Wednesday. The 5-1 victory over the Pilots keeps the Warriors in the hunt for a ring and etched Sellers’ name in the LC State Baseball record books.
With eight strikeouts in the contest and the win, Sellers now has 139 strikeouts and 14 wins on the season. Both are single-season records at LC State. He went 6.2 innings, allowed one run, and did not walk a batter.
Blackman went 2.1 innings in relief to earn the save. He fanned two and did not allow a hit.
“Trent gave us his best performance of the season thus far,” Head Coach Jake Taylor said. “It was gutsy. GT (Blackman) had his best outing of the year as well. Tremendous pitching, great defense, and timely hitting are the recipe for success this time of the year.”
Sellers closed out the first inning with a strikeout and added two more in the second. The only blemish on his day came in the fourth when a run scored on two hits.
Luke White tallied the first LC State hit of the day in the fourth inning and the Warriors capitalized with an RBI-double by Zach Threlfall. Sellers retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame with two punchouts.
LC State manufactured three runs in the seventh to grow the lead to 4-0. Nick Seamons was hit by a pitch to start things off and took second on a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Davis. Pu’ukani blasted a two-run shot to right to fire up the offense, and Riley Way and Aidan Nagle kept things going with back-to-back singles. The third run of the game came in on an error on a ball hit by Sam Linscott.
Sellers retired the first two batters in the seventh before surrendering a double. Greg Blackman was called upon and sat down the first Pilot he saw to kill any LSUS momentum. He struck out one in the eighth as part of a 1-2-3 inning.
The Warriors’ two-out magic appeared in the top of the ninth when Linscott laced a ball past the diving second baseman for a single. White crushed a ball off the top of the wall in center and raced around the bases for a triple to knock in a run and give LC a 5-1 cushion.
Blackman returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth and sat LSUS down in order. He closed out the game with a punchout.
White led LC State with three hits, Threlfall had two and De Sa drove in two runs.
The Warriors will face the winner of No. 1 Southeastern and No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Should SEU win, LC State will need to defeat the Fire twice to capture the title. If TWU wins, the winner of LC State/TWU will face SEU in the title game on Friday.