Record Power Surge Seals Series For SFA
April 23, 2011
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Hunter Dozier homered for the fourth consecutive game, and the Lumberjack bats connected for a school-record six homers on Saturday in the series finale of a three-game set at McNeese State, powering SFA to an 11-6 win at Cowboy Diamond.
SFA (29-12, 15-6 SLC) belted back-to-back homers twice in the game for the first time in recorded history, while Dozier's homer marked the first time since Kevin Croft in 2007 that a Lumberjack has homered in four consecutive games. It is also the first time the Lumberjacks have won a series over the Cowboys (20-22, 9-12 SLC) in Lake Charles since joining the Southland Conference in 1988.
With the win, SFA also stays in a first-place tie with Texas State at the top of the Southland Conference, three full games ahead of the rest of the field.
Eight of the nine `Jacks in the starting lineup finished with at least one hit, while the six homers came from six different players. The 11 runs was plenty of support for four SFA pitchers, with Zack Taylor getting his fourth win of the season. The junior struggled with his command early on, allowing six runs, four earned, in five innings of work before giving way to the bullpen who held the Cowboys scoreless over the final four frames.
Dustin Lloyd took the loss, allowing eight runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings, one year after coming just one out away from throwing a complete-game shutout in Nacogdoches in 2010.
Darren Crabtree was one of six `Jacks with a homer and finished up 3-for-5 on the day, and was joined by Jarid Scarafiotti, Max Lamantia, Justin McAninch, Michael Haynes and Dozier with long balls on the afternoon.
SFA put up nine runs in the first three innings of the game, getting a two-out, two-run homer from Scarafiotti in the top of the first to jump out on top. A double from Dozier and an error on McNeese's Jace Peterson helped fuel another two-run inning in the second, before the `Jacks broke it open with a five-spot in the top of the third.
That inning was powered by three homers in the inning, starting with a leadoff shot from Crabtree over the right-field fence. Five hitters later with two runners on, McAninch did his part by hitting a towering homer over the scoreboard in left-center field for a three-run bomb that forced McNeese to remove Lloyd. One batter later Haynes lofted the second pitch from Zach Butler out to left field for consecutive homers for SFA.
However, nearly all of that offense was countered early on by the Cowboys as they answered with each of their six runs in the first four innings off of Taylor, staying within striking distance at just 9-6 through six frames.
But after a scoreless sixth from freshman Reid Landers, SFA got consecutive homers for the second time on the day from another pair of freshmen with Lamantia and Dozier coming up with solo shots off of Butler with one out in the seventh to push the lead to 11-6.
McNeese State threatened to get back into the thick of things in the bottom of the seventh, putting each of the first two hitters on base to get things going. But SFA went to reliever Cody Priest, who coaxed a double-play ball from Nick Eubanks and then got a soft grounder from Shea Daly to end the Cowboy rally.
Colton Eubanks came on to throw a pair of scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to close it out, working around a pair of one-out singles in the eighth before retiring the side in order in the ninth.
SFA now heads back to Nacogdoches for a stretch of eight of nine at home, beginning Tuesday with a 3:00 p.m. midweek game on Tuesday against Houston. The first-place Lumberjacks will then host UT-Arlington in a three-game set beginning Friday at Jaycees Field.