Fans trickled into Mike Carter Field on a sunny Saturday with multiple fans wearing gold with black on one side and purple on the other as Tyler Junior College and Louisiana State-Eunice faced off. The Bengals took Game 1 11-9 and the Apaches took Game 2 11-6 to split the doubleheader.
After the games, LSU-Eunice’s record moved to 23-7 and TJC’s record moved to 20-12. The two teams play the series finale at 1 p.m. today at Mike Carter Field.
Game 1 was a scoring frenzy as the two teams combined for 20 runs.
TJC led things off first plating two in the first. Tim Hunter got things started with an infield single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. Back-to-back singles by Justin Monsour and Cody Broussard brought in Hunter and Brandon Webb to make it 2-0.
LSU-Eunice came back in the next half inning, putting up two of its own. Brennan Bozeman hit a deep single to right field to bring in Jordan Romero and Ray Veit to tie the game at 2.
The Apaches jumped out to their second lead of the game in the fourth, which saw nine batters come to the plate with five runs coming across, including singles by Monsour, Manny Galvan, Hunter, Zane Otten and Webb.
Facing a five-run deficit, LSU-Eunice put up big numbers of its own in the top of the fifth. Twelve Bengals came to the plate to face off against one of the three TJC pitchers that took part in the inning. LSU-Eunice scored eight runs to take a lead 10-7 after including singles from Derek Herrington, Bozeman, Mason Nickens, Kyle St. Pierre and Gabe Roberts.
TJC added a run in the fifth to chip away at the lead but LSU-Eunice added a run in the top of the seventh to cement an 11-8 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, the Apaches added a run but it wasn’t enough as the final score stood at 11-9.
The tides turned in Game 2 with TJC trailing 2-0 heading to the bottom of the third.
Reid Russell started things off with a single to left before a throwing error allowed Galvan to reach first safely. Otten then singled to load the bases. With two outs, Eric Stegent belted a single deep to right field to bring in two runs. Right fielder Nickens misplayed the ball, which rolled to the fence, scoring Otten.
The Bengals regained the lead by plating two runs the next half after Herrington hit an RBI double. A single by Nickens plated Herrington to make it 4-3 heading to the bottom of the fourth.
But the Apaches’ offense took advantage of struggling Bengals pitchers. A combination of five hits and four walks saw TJC bat through the lineup and score six runs to take a 9-4 lead. TJC also added two runs in the seventh to make the score 11-4.
LSU-Eunice added a run in the top of the ninth but the Apaches’ defense held off the Bengals to split the doubleheader.