Unfortunately for the Crowley Pioneers, that much-needed victory came at their expense Friday evening.
Nicholas Artall worked a masterful seven innings and his offense gave him all the run support he needed in a 3-0 victory over the Pios at Westminster’s Crusader Field.
The Pioneers, who came from behind to defeat the Seminoles, 9-8, last week, managed just two hits off Artall and stranded five runners, all in scoring position, on the night.
Andre Thibodeaux was hit by a pitch in the first inning and stole second base before Artall logged a strike out to end the inning.
Zack Henry recorded the first hit off Artall in the second inning, a single to center field, and Nich Benoit reached on a error giving the Pios runners at second and third with two outs.
However, the scoring threat was thwarted one batter later when Artall sat Austin Bordelon down on strikes.
The Indians didn’t waste their scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third.
Logan Franklin started things off with a double to right center field and moved to third on David Jarrell’s ground out to the mound. Christian Sebastien plated Franklin on a ground out to second.
John Ladd and Artall then recorded back-to-back singles, but the Pios avoided any further damage when Brandon Dupre grounded out to second base to end the inning.
The Pios threatened again in the fifth inning when Thibodeaux was hit by a pitch for the second time and stole second with one out. Artall got out of the jam again by recording another strikeout before getting Alex Holston to fly out to right field.
The Indians added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Franklin reached base on an infield single and scored on another ground out to second base by Sebastien.
The Indians added an insurance run in the sixth when Artall doubled to left center field and scored on a single to left by Dylan Buller.
Artall sat the Pios down in order in the top of the seventh to end the contest.
In all, Artall struck out eight while hitting two batters.
Henry’s single and Benoit’s double were the only two hits for the Pios.
Nick Gossen suffered the loss, giving up one run on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Artall and Franklin each had a single and a double for the Indians while Buller singled and drove in one run. Ladd, Sebastien and Chris Meche each had one hit.
The Pios have a bye Tuesday but they return to action Thursday when they take on the Crowley Millers at Miller Stadium. That game is slated for 6 o’clock.
The Indians’ next contest is slated for Tuesday at Miller Stadium, also against the Millers.