As huge lead disbands, Lions rally for winning comeback
HAMMOND, Louisiana – After a nine-point lead turned into a late two-point deficit, the University of Southeast Louisiana baseball team rallied for an 18-15 victory Saturday against Houston Baptist during Southland Conference action at the Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Shea Thomas, who homered for the second time in as many games, hit a three-run homer to left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth to provide the winning margin for Southeastern (21-25, 11-9 SLC). It was his third long ball of the season and the Lions’ second home run of the season.
A first home run in the third gave HBU (18-30, 11-9 SLC) a 1-0 lead.
The Lions scored a pair of runs in the fourth, taking the lead. Rhett Rosevear started with a triple to center field, heading home to score on Tyler Finke Single RBI to left field. Finke stole second base and then advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on Thomas’ sacrifice fly on the right.
Another first home run by the Huskies in the fifth tied the game, 2-2, but SLU scored six runs in the bottom half of the inning to return to the lead.
Christian Garcia and Tyler Finke both provided scoring triples while Bryce Grizzaffi and Preston Faulkner both contributed RBI singles. Grizzaffi scored on a passed fly ball and Thomas added another run on his second stolen sack in as many innings.
The Huskies added two runs in the sixth on a two-run homer.
Southeastern responded with five more runs late in the set, taking a 13-4 lead. Three consecutive wins from Garcia, Grizzaffi and Evan Keller produced the first run. Extending his national HBP total to 29 this season, Rosevear was hit with a pitch to load the bases. With one out, Faulkner and Thomas crushed back-to-back two-run doubles.
After working on a jam in the sixth, Hayden Robb struggled to maintain his form in the seventh. Him, with Lance Lava and Alex Potter combined to give up 10 points in the seventh as the Huskies took a 14-13 lead.
HBU extended its lead in the eighth with its third first homer of the game and fourth overall.
The Lion’s rally began with Finke drawing a first step in the eighth. Faulkner followed with another brace, leading to Finke. With four RBIs in the game, Faulkner now has 154 in his career. The total is good for the only fourth-place possession in program history, two behind Ty Summerlin who currently sits in third place.
HBU brought in its closest, Andrew Reitmeyer, but he gave Thomas a ride. With one out, the pair executed a double steal. It’s the second time this season that Faulkner has grabbed a pair of sacks in the same game. He was coming home to score on a sacrificial fly to center the bat from Tristan Welch.
Gage Trahan worked a scoreless ninth for the Lions, setting up Thomas’ heroics in the bottom half of the inning.
Finke tied with one out on reliever Brennen Bales. After stealing second, the Huskies intentionally walked Faulkner. Thomas then launched a 1-1 throw over the left wall.
Trahan (3-3) picked up the win, walking one and striking out one in his only working inning. Bales (0-1), the ninth HBU pitcher of the game, suffered the loss. He allowed three runs on a hit and two walks in 0.1 innings pitched.
Seven players from each team had multi-hit performances, including Faulkner (3 for 5), Field Artigues (2-for-5), Finke (2-for-4), Garcia (2-for-4), Grizzaffi (2-for-3), Keller (2-for-6) and Thomas (2-for- 3). The 16 total hits by SLU is a season high for the Lions.
Faulkner and Finke scored four points apiece while Thomas became the first Lion since Taylor Schwaner (April 27, 2018, vs. Stephen F. Austin) to lead in seven points in a single game.
With the win, Southeastern was down to five with HBU, McNeese (26-21, 11-9 SLC), Nicholls (24-19, 11-9 SLC) and Northwestern State (23-23, 11-9 SLC) . ) for first place in the conference standings.
It was the fifth victory and the 11and comeback win of the season for SLU.
The series ends Sunday at 1 p.m. It’s Seniors Day and a contest designated Cane’s Challenge. Prior to the game, nine senior players will be recognized for their contributions to the SLU baseball program and free baseball cards will be available at the marketing and promotions table.
When the Lions score four or more races on Sunday, fans can bring their ticket or student coupon to any participating Raising Cane store for a buy-and-buy offer on any combo.
SLU plans to start second right-hander Andre Landry (2-5, 7.45) while the Huskies will counter with sophomore right-hander Matthew Charles (3-0, 6.62) in the series finale.
Fans in the Hammond area can listen on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network’s flagship station – KSLU 90.9 FM – in addition to being online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and through the Lions Gameday Experience, Mixlr and MyTuner Radio apps. . The MyTuner application is compatible with the Apple CarPlay software available in most recent car models. Fans should search for SLU Athletics (Mixlr) or Southeastern Sports Radio Network (MyTuner).
The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.
TICKET AND PARKING INFORMATION
Single tickets are on sale for the remainder of the regular season. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to minimize queues on match days. South East students are encouraged to contact the box office prior to the game to reserve theirs in advance.
General admission tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for youth (ages 3-12). Students from the South East, with a university ID, and children under 2 years old are admitted free. Gameday parking is $5 per day for standard vehicles and $25 for RVs.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.LionSports.net/Tickets or by contacting the Southeastern Athletics box office at (985) 549-5466. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Friday. The Pat Kenelly Diamond box office at Alumni Field opens exactly one hour before the first scheduled pitch.
Southeastern uses mobile ticketing as its primary method of distributing tickets purchased online. Tickets will be available via text or email in PDF format for fans to download to their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded from Apple Wallet.
CLEAR BAG POLICY
Southeastern Athletics operates a clear bag policy for all ticketed events. The policy reflects the safety precautions required for entry to professional and collegiate sports venues across the country. For more information on the clear bag policy, go to www.LionSports.net/Clear.
The next episode of Inside Southeastern Baseball featuring matt riser, presented by For House Pizza and Beer Garden, is scheduled for Monday at 12 p.m. from the restaurant in downtown Hammond. Fans can listen to each broadcast online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and through the Lions Gameday Experience, MyTuner Radio or Mixlr apps. The MyTuner Radio application is compatible with the Apple CarPlay software available in most recent cars.
LIONS GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE APP
The Lions Gameday Experience app puts audio, stats, video, social media and more in the hands of fans. Attendees can also check in to earn reward points redeemable for Southeast-related prizes. Available for Android and iOS devices, it can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play or by following the link www.LionSports.net/App.
DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alumni are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is reserved for Southeast Sports Letter winners.
All Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) membership fees and donations are available for the exclusive use of the Southeast Baseball Program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at email@example.com or (985) 549-5091 or by visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more Lions Baseball news, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.