Lions take series opener, move into game of first
HAMMOND, Louisiana – The University of Southeastern Louisiana baseball team held off Houston Baptist, 6-5, Friday in Southland Conference action at the Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, moving less than a match for first place.
A tight race in Southland got even tighter on Friday. First-place teams McNeese (26-20, 11-8 SLC), Nicholls (24-18, 11-8 SLC) and the Huskies all lost (18-29, 11-8 SLC). Wins for Southeastern (20-25, 10-9 SLC), Northwestern State (22-23, 10-9 SLC) and New Orleans (24-19, 10-9 SLC) mean the six teams are separated by just one game with five remaining on the conference slate.
The Lions took an early lead, picking up three runs in the first inning. Rhett Rosevear was hit by a one-out pitch and advanced to second base on a groundout. He scored on Preston Faulkner Single RBI to right field. Shea Thomas followed by a two-run home run to the right. It was the second of the season for the Olympia, Washington junior third baseman.
SLU added a point in fourth. Evan Keller beat a bunt for a hit to start the inning. Rosevear was hit with another pitch, bringing his national HBP total to 28 this season. After a sacrificial bunt pushed both runners into scoring position, Keller scored on Faulkner’s sacrificial volley to left field.
A one-out double and a two-out single produced a run for HBU in the Lion’s fourth starting pitcher Adam Guth.
The Huskies sent eight batters home in the fifth, scoring three runs to tie the game.
Southeastern responded in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs to regain the lead, 6-4. HBU reliever Will Ripoll hit Bryce Grizzaffi with a pitch to start the inning. Keller followed with a single, sending Grizzaffi down to third. Rosevear then dropped a brace down the right field line, tackling Grizzaffi and chasing Ripoll out of the game.
Faulkner welcomed reliever Chad Ricker with a sacrificial volley down the middle, allowing Keller to score from third.
Dalton Aspholm, who entered the game with two hits and no outs in the sixth, pitched three innings in relief. The junior right-hander from Baton Rouge, Louisiana blocked runners and allowed only an eighth-inning run before returning the ball to Gage Trahan in the ninth.
Trahan left the bases loaded in the ninth, earning a strikeout and a pop-up to end the game and earn his eighth save of the season. He is now tied for second in the conference in saves. Trahan also moved to a tie for sixth on the SLU single-season save table with Mike Kimbrell (1996) and Chris Province (2007) and a tie for 10and on the program’s career stoppage chart with Scott Kupper (1989-91), Kimbrell (1995-96) and Bryce Tassin (2017-19).
Guth (3-1) picked up the win, giving up four runs in five innings pitched. He allowed seven hits and three walks, striking out four batters. Ripoll (1-6) suffered the loss, giving up a pair of runs in 1.1 innings pitched.
Keller (2 for 3) had a pair of hits while Faulkner and Thomas drove in two runs apiece. With the two RBIs, Faulkner now has 150 in his career. The total is good for the only fourth-place possession in program history, six behind Ty Summerlin who currently sits in third place.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. SLU hasn’t announced a starting pitcher as the Huskies plan to pitch senior right-hander Jared Burch (1-3, 4.32).
Fans in the Hammond area can listen to game broadcasts 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 apps, Mixlr and MyTuner 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+.
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.