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Demons end 7-game skid with pitching and defense, beat UL-Monroe 3-2
Apr 27, 2012 | 400 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jamie Bittle makes the pitch in Wednesday’s win over the UL-Monroe Warhawks. He pitched six scoreless innings.
			                       Photo by Gary Hardemon
Jamie Bittle makes the pitch in Wednesday’s win over the UL-Monroe Warhawks. He pitched six scoreless innings. Photo by Gary Hardemon
A masterful six inning, scoreless pitching performance by freshman hurler Jamie Bittle led Northwestern State past Louisiana-Monroe 3-2 to help end the Demons seven game losing streak Wednesday.

 Bittle (1-0) threw six innings of shutout ball and allowed four hits and struck out five Warkhawks.

 Warhawk starter Alex Hermeling (1-3) took the loss and gave up all three runs on four hits and two walks.

 Northwestern State improved its record to 15-24 overall while ULM dropped to 19-22 on the season.

 “Bittle came out and gave us the start that we've been wanting and needing,” said NSU head coach J.P. Davis.  “He went in and got guys out tonight.  He pitched ahead in the count.  But us getting that three spot in the first inning was huge.”

 NSU will look to get back on track in conference this weekend when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana starting Friday night at 6:30, Saturday at 2 o'clock and Sunday at 1.

 Drew Helenihi led off the first inning with a full count walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  He extended his streak to 22 straight games by reaching base with the walk.  Will Watson followed up with a double down the right field line to score Helenihi to give NSU a 1-0 lead.

 Warhawk first baseman Joey Rapp was charged with an error that scored Watson and put Nick Hinojos at first and after a Colin Bear single up the middle, Nick Purdy hit a ground ball to second base that forced Bear out a second, but reached on another error by Rapp.  Hinojos scored on the play to make it 3-0.

 NSU threatened again in the second inning after getting Kevin Sanford to third base following a one-out double and wild pitch, but that was erased after a double play ball.

 “We had some opportunities to score some runs but we hit some balls hard and we played some very good defense tonight,” said Davis.

 In the fifth, ULM designated hitter Corben Green doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. He advanced to third on a bunt single from Justin Stawychny, but was held there after Bittle stuck out two and Stawychny was caught trying to steal second.

“That was a crucial turn of events in the game,” said Davis.  “They (ULM) had runners on the corners with no outs and Bittle bears down and gets out of it.”

The Demons had another shot to add runs in the fifth after loading the bases with two outs but failed to cross the plate.

 ULM scored its two runs in the eighth when Jeff Fuller took a one-out walk and Caleb Clowers singled up the middle followed by a lined shot off of Colin Bear's body that led to an out at first and advanced the runners. Bear was relieved by Joe Scanio who allowed both runs which were charged to Bear.

Carson Goldsmith relieved Scanio with one out in the ninth and finished off the game for his second save of the season.

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