Lions rally to win Game 1 at Pontchartrain Bowl

HAMMOND, Louisiana – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team rallied from a pair of deficits Thursday en route to a 5-4 Southland Conference win over New Orleans in the Pontchartrain Bowl opener at the Pat Kenelly Diamond at the Alumni Field.

UNO (19-12, 6-4 SLC) took an early lead, collecting three runs in the first inning against the starting pitcher Southeastern (14-20, 5-5 SLC) Hunter O’Toole.

SLU responded with a pair of late-inning runs from starter Privateer Tyler LeBlanc.

Evan Keller started with a single in the middle. He was erased at second base on a choice of the defender on the ground from the start of Rhett Rosevear. Tyler Finke followed by a line single to center field, sending Rosevear down to third.

Rosevear scored on Preston Faulkner sacrifice steal to right field. After Shea Thomas was hit by a throw, Field Artigues reached on a throwing error by Privateer shortstop Tyler Bischke that allowed Finke to score from second.

Down in the second, 3-2, the Lions tied the game.

Christian Garcia drew a first walk before slipping second base. It was his eighth stolen base of the season. Bryce Grizzaffi beat a bunt single, putting runners in the corners before LeBlanc hit Keller with a pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Garcia scored on Finke’s sacrificial volley to center.

After a tough first inning, O’Toole settled in to allow just one run over the next five innings. That run, however, gave UNO a 4-3 lead in fourth.

Southeastern rallied again, picking up single runs in the fifth and sixth.

Faulkner helped the Lions fabricate the tying run, collecting a one-out single. He stole second then advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Thomas’ RBI field at second.

Bryce Grizzaffi helped generate the winning run, ripping a double with one out to the left field line in the sixth. He scored two batters later on Rosevear’s single from the right side.

relievers Hayden Robb and Gage Trahan combined for three perfect innings to close the game and seal the Lions’ eighth win of the season.

O’Toole (2-3) earned the win, giving up four runs in six innings pitched. He scattered seven hits and four walks, striking out four. Trahan got his fifth save, pulling out one while working a scoreless ninth. UN reliever Jack Williams (4-1) suffered the loss, allowing a run in 1.1 innings of work

Robb stoked three during his two-run stint for the Lions.

Grizzaffi (3 for 4) had his second three-hit performance of the season, collecting a pair of doubles in the second half of the game.

Faulkner stole two bases, tying his career high three years to the day (April 14, 2019) against Northwestern State.

With the win, SLU moves into a first-place conference standings Privateers game.


The Pontchartrain Bowl continues Friday at 6 p.m. SLU season ticket holders should be aware that some of their tickets may have outdated game times for the series.

Sponsored by the SLU chapter of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, the Pontchartrain Bowl trophy goes to the winner of the regular season series between the Lions and Privateers. Created when the UN joined Southland, Southeastern won the trophy four of the first six times. UNO is the current champion, winning three of the four games in the 2021 series.

Will Kinzeler (2-0, 2.62), a sophomore right-hander from Covington, La., takes the ball for SLU (13-20, 4-5 SLC) Friday against senior Privateer left-hander Brandon Mitchell (1-3, 3.83) . Kinzeler leads Southland in innings pitched (44.2) while ranking third in ERA and seventh in strikeouts (40).

Fans in the Hammond area can also listen on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network’s flagship station – KSLU 90.9 FM – in addition to being online at and through the Lions Gameday Experience, Mixlr and MyTuner apps. Radio. 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+.


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 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.

The university is expected to repave a portion of the baseball parking lot, April 13-29, affecting home games against New Orleans (April 14-16), South Alabama (April 19) and Southern Miss (April 26). Additional parking spaces will be available in the parking garage and on the lot north of the garage.

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

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

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 or (985) 549-5091 or by visiting

For more Lions Baseball news, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.



Charles P. Patton