After sweeping a double-header over the Bacone College junior varsity on Tuesday, Northeastern A&M’s Golden Norsemen make the 630-mile trek today to Shreveport, La., for the four-day Bossier Parish Classic at the Fairgrounds Field on the campus of Bossier Parish Community College.
Coach Roger Ward’s Golden Norse carry a 6-2 season record to the classic after cruising to a 15-4 and 13-3 rout over the Bacone JV at Homa Thomas Field.
The Golden Norsemen face Arkansas Baptist College of Little Rock at 4 p.m. today to start the classic before playing host Bossier Parish at 8 p.m. All games will be nine innings.
NEO plays Angelina College of Lufkin, Texas, at 1 p.m. on Friday before playing Meridian, Miss., at noon on Saturday. The Norsemen conclude the classic at noon on Sunday against Weatherford, Texas.
“The Shreveport trip always gives us a good idea of where we stand after our first eight to 10 games in February,” Ward said. “The level of competition will be much like our conference play and this trip gives us a idea of where we are and where we need to go.”
Against the Bacone Warriors in the first game, after falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, the Norsemen exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the frame.
The Golden Norse added two runs in the bottom of the second inning and another three runs in the bottom of the third to build a 15-2 cushion.
Bacone scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning before the game ended because of the run rule.
Home runs by Ryan Clark, Trevor Bowden and Sean Mattson sparked the 11-hit Golden Norse offense. Bowden led NEO with three hits.
Chaz Smith earned the victory with one inning of scoreless relief after starter Taylor Ferguson allowed two runs on three hits in three innings.
“You don’t really know what you are going to get playing a JV team but I felt that they guys kept focus and played hard all day,” Ward said. “Bacone’s group was primarily freshman and they played hard, but they did not pitch well and we handled them they way we should.”
Once again Bacone built a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the second game before the Golden Norse struck for six runs in the bottom of the inning.
NEO’s lead swelled to 9-2 with a three-run third inning before Bacone scored their final run in the top of the fourth inning.
The Norsemen ended the game with four unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The NEO offense included two singles by Jared Seals, a home run by Tommy Thornton, a double by Brant Radcliff, and a single by Javier Weech.
“We where able to get some guys on the mound that have not pitched and some guys some at-bats that have not played yet,” Ward said. “We took care of business, respected the game and played hard.