MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The 11th ranked LSU Shreveport Pilots trailed by eight runs after the first and fourth innings but rallied back to tie the game at 10 in the 7th inning only to fall short 14-10 to the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers, the 3rd seed in the Montgomery Bracket of the 2014 Baseball National Championship on Monday afternoon. The loss drops the Pilots into the loser's bracket where they will need to win five games during the next three days to advance to the Avista-NAIA World Series.
The Pioneers (37-13) may have thought they would cruise to an easy win on day one of the tournament against the Pilots as they put eight runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning on five hits with the help of three walks and a hit-by-pitch.
LSUS starter David Diaz was done after retiring only one batter, the second batter of the inning on a sac-bunt. MNU roughed him up with four out of the next five batters getting a base hit and there was a walk in the mix and after a hit batter his day was done after 1/3 of an inning allowing seven earned runs on four hits, one walk and one hit batter.
The Pilots (42-17) called on a reliable early season starter in Jason Mouton who's outing was cut short due to an hour and a half lightning delay after an inning and 2/3 allowing no runs on two hits and two walks.
Following the delay the Pilots went to another reliable starter in Jonathan Burnett who threw the ball well and gave his team a chance to get back in which they did with rallies in the 6th inning of six runs and the 7th inning of two runs to tie the game at 10.
Burnett (7-2) unfortunately suffered the loss after he tossed four and 1/3 innings allowing four earned runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Burnett allowed two runs in the 4th inning and then two more were charged to him after he departed the game in the 7th.
The Pilots used a total of five pitchers in the weather delayed game but the good news is that none threw more than 67 pitches and should be available when needed tomorrow. Burnett may need an extra day since he threw most pitches.
LSUS sent 11 men to the plate in the 6th inning with Kym Barthel and Reed Lavallee collecting rbi-singles in the inning and Connor McMullin and David Dorton each drew bases loaded walks to bring the Pilots to within two, 10-8 after 6 innings.
The Pilots rallied back from a total of eight runs down with two runs in the 7th inning to tie the game. Parker Hebert and Jared Vial each drove in a run with a single.
The Pilots will face elimination against Judson University tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. CDT as the Eagles fell to Point (Ga.) on day one 11-4.