HAMMOND, Louisiana – A pair of big innings propelled the University of Southeast Louisiana baseball team to a decisive 8-2 series victory Saturday against Tennessee Tech in non-conference action at the Pat Kenelly Diamond in Alumni Field.
Southeastern (7-8) scored four runs in the first and seventh innings, picking up its second win in as many days against the Golden Eagles (10-3).
Tennessee Tech starting pitcher Carter Gannaway hit the first two batters he faced and ultimately didn’t survive the first. After putting Rhett Rosevear and Bryce Grizzaffi on base, Gannaway retired Evan Keller on a sacrificial cavity.
With a pair of runners in scoring position, Preston Faulkner doubled over the right fielder’s head to tackle both Rosevear and Grizzaffi. Connor Manola followed by a double RBI on the first baseline. A Field Artigues single zippers on the corners. Gannaway was withdrawn after falling behind, 2-0, on Christian Garcia.
Manola scored on a backhand when reliever Frankie Cresta, who inherited both runners and the batting count, faked an out attempt at first base.
Tennessee Tech, which scored singles in the seventh and ninth, mustered its biggest threat of the game in the fifth. The Golden Eagles charged with one out on three straight singles, but SLU’s starting pitcher Hunter O’Toole fanned the third- and fourth-place batters to escape the jam.
O’Toole pitched six scoreless innings, preventing the mighty Golden Eagle offense from attempting a comeback.
The Lions extended their lead in the seventh. Reliever Colt Tyler, who had gone 2.1 scoreless innings so far, walked Rosevear to open the inning. Daniel Holley, Tennessee Tech’s fourth pitcher of the game, gave up a single to Grizzaffi and walked Keller to load the bases. Holley’s last pitch, a break ball, hit Faulkner in the foot to force a run.
Manola welcomed reliever Logan Hewitt with a single to the left side, bringing Grizzaffi and Keller home. Faulkner and Manola both took extra base when the home pitch fell on the backstop. Faulkner then scored on by Christian Garcia sacrifice steal to left center field.
O’Toole (1-2) earned his first win of the season, scattering six hits and one walk in six innings. He retired seven. Relievers Daniel Dugas and Alex Potter finished the last three innings for the Lions. Gannaway (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs while recording just one out in the starting role.
Manola had two hits for the Lions while he and Faulkner drove in three runs apiece.
The series ends Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN+. Southeastern will start junior redshirt right-hander Hayden Robb (0-0, 4.20). The Golden Eagles have not announced a starting pitcher for the series finale.
Fans can listen 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).
Other options for following the action include live stats or the @LionUpBaseball Twitter account. Links to audio, video and statistics are available on the baseball schedules page on www.LionSports.net.
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 protected] 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.