Late grand slam lifts South Alabama over UNO, 9-6

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Senior Hezekiah Randolph hits two home runs in loss to Jaguars

NEW ORLEANS – Leading 6-4 heading into the final inning against South Alabama on Tuesday evening, the University of New Orleans baseball team gave up a costly grand slam in a five-run ninth for the Jaguars to end the Privateers’ eight-game homestand with a 9-6 loss.

Junior right-handed pitcher William Griffin struck out a South Alabama (20-13) batter to open the ninth, but a double and a walk quickly put runners on first and second. The Jaguars cut the deficit in half in the ensuing at bat with another double, while a single loaded up the bases with one out before the game-winning grand slam.

“I thought we played good enough to win, we just didn’t make big plays when it mattered” head coach Blake Dean said. “Every time we scored we allowed South Alabama to score the next half, you’re never going to win games when you do that. We have to figure out how to make the big plays when it matters, we failed to do that today and we lost because of it.”

Senior designated hitter Hezekiah Randolph led New Orleans (19-15) with three hits, two going over the left field wall, with junior catcher John Cable rounding the bases with Randolph on both his home runs while posting three hits of his own. Randolph’s home runs came in the sixth and eighth inning, giving the Privateers the lead both times only to see the Jaguars score the following stanza.

Randolph finished the evening with a game-high five RBI, four coming off his two home runs and one coming in the second inning on a double that scored junior third baseman Owen Magee. Cable logged the Privateers’ other RBI, scoring junior right fielder Tristan Clarke in the sixth off a double.

On the mound for the Privateers, senior right-handed pitcher Riley Hodge got the start and allowed one run off three hits in 4.1 innings of work with three strikeouts. Junior right-handed pitchers Rafael Martinez and Griffin each logged 1.2 innings, with junior southpaw John Michael Stephens plus freshman righties Reeves Martin and Grant Baker making mound appearances.

For South Alabama, Jared Barned hit the game-winning grand slam off his lone hit of the contest, while Carter Parker posted a team-best three hits. Andy Arguelles got the start for the Jaguars on the mound, allowing one run off five hits in 4.1 innings.

The Privateers hit the road for a Southland Conference series against McNeese, starting on Thursday, April 13, with a 6 p.m. start time. UNO returns to First NBC Ballpark on Friday, May 5, when they begin a SLC series with Houston Baptist with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. For tickets to future Privateers athletic events, contact the UNO Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 280-GAME (4263) and season tickets can be purchased over the Internet by clicking HERE.

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