Nicholls Colonels will host Southern today

THIBODAUX — After winning the series against Houston Baptist this past weekend, the Nicholls State University baseball team opens its home schedule today, hosting the Southern Jaguars at 6:30 p.m. at Ray E. Didier Field in Thibodaux.

Today’s contest will be the first of five straight home games for Nicholls during the next week, with a three-game home series beginning Friday and a midweek game Tuesday.

Fans at these home games will see another new feature to the ballpark this season, as the dugouts were sunk and completely rebuilt to add more space and amenities for the teams.

During this past weekend’s action, the Colonels rallied from a 9-0 shutout Friday for back-to-back wins against the Huskies in Houston, winning a season-opening series for the first time since 2009.

Nicholls scored 24 runs on 23 hits in the final two games as the pitching staff gave up just seven combined runs to close out the series against Houston Baptist.

Exploding for 15 runs in the finale, the Colonels scored double-digit runs for the first time since May 2012, a year when Nicholls won nine games when scoring 10 or more runs in a contest.

The bulk of those runs were driven in by senior shortstop Ray Eureste, who drove in six on a 4-of-5 performance at the plate while scoring twice.

Eureste and Matt Richard each finished with five hits on the weekend, as Richard had two triples in the series and three stolen bases.

With such a young group of pitchers on the roster this season, the Nicholls coaching staff wasted little time getting the newcomers acclimated to in-game action, as nine pitchers all finished the weekend with at least one complete inning of work. Taylor Byrd earned the win in his first Division 1 start, while Kory Delange improved his career record to 4-0 after going five complete innings, giving up three runs, one earned, with four strikeouts.

Jordan McCoy showed virtually no signs of rust in his two appearances — two innings of scoreless, hitless action — while Zach Thiac also made two appearances, with four shutout innings and four strikeouts.

Thiac looks poised to take the bump against Southern today as the Colonels renew a rivalry that goes back decades. The Jaguars come into the game also sporting a 2-1 record after defeating Stillman College during the weekend in Baton Rouge.

The Jaguars hit .339 as a team during the series, which is second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference after the first weekend of play.

Southern scored more than five runs in each contest.

On the mound, the Southern pitching staff has an earned run average of 5.33, ballooning after giving up 13 runs to Stillman in a game on Saturday.

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