Privateers lose Southland Conference opener to Lions
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans baseball team began Southland Conference play on Friday evening against Southeastern Louisiana, holding the visitors scoreless through five innings before a four-run sixth created a separation the Privateers could not overcome in an 8-0 loss.
Junior right handed pitcher Shawn Semple started strong, striking out eight batters in five scoreless innings with three hits allowed, before giving up three hits in the top of the sixth with a walk which resulted in four runs scored. Freshman right handed pitcher Martin Reeves plus junior southpaws John Michael Stephens and Connor Kaucic combined to throw the final 3.2 innings, with Kaucic throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
“I thought Semple had a really good outing,” head coach Blake Dean said. “I couldn’t ask for much more from him. It was probably one of his best outings that I have seen from him, we just didn’t make the plays behind him.”
New Orleans (9-5, 0-1 Southland Conference) got the first opportunity to score of the evening when Hezekiah Randolph smacked a double in the bottom of the fifth, advancing to third on a wild pitch from Southeastern Louisiana’s (9-4, 1-0 Southland Conference) pitcher. Junior infielder Owen Magee got on first base with a walk, putting runners on the corner with two outs, before senior infielder Samuel Capielano hit into a fielder’s choice to end the frame.
Southeastern Louisiana responded with four-runs in the following stanza, adding to their lead with a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth. The Privateers strung together one final rally in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases off singles from senior infielder Dakota Dean and Capielano plus a walk of junior outfielder Jared McKay, but back-to-back outs left all the runners stranded.
UNO got the bulk of its offense from the middle of the batting order, with junior catcher John Cable, Randolph and Dean, the Privateers 4-6 hitters, all contributing one hit while senior infielder Aaron Palmer logged a leadoff single in the opening inning and Capielano adding another hit.
“We are being too passive at the plate,” Dean said. “We were not being aggressive, we kept falling behind in the count against a really good pitcher. We have to find a way to put pressure on the other team, we have applied next to no pressure on our opponents the past couple games. Hopefully tomorrow we will get some better at bats.”
For Southeastern, Mac Sceroler threw eight innings of scoreless baseball with 11 strikeouts and four hits allowed, with Evan Hileman throwing the final frame. Taylor Schwaner led the Lions on offense with three hits and a pair of RBI.
The Pontchartrain Bowl continues in Hammond, Louisiana on Saturday, Mar. 11 at 2 p.m., with the series’ rubber match back at Maestri Field on Sunday, Mar. 12 at 1 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.