HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana climbed back into second place in the Southland Conference standings Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of Central Arkansas, winning both games by identical 10-3 scores at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Big innings propelled the Lions (33-16, 19-10 Southland) in both games over Central Arkansas (28-22, 15-11 Southland), snapping the Bears string of six-consecutive conference series won.
Drew Avans, Webb Bobo and Carson Crites each turned in multi-hit performances in both games of the doubleheader.
The series wraps Sunday with a special Mother’s Day ceremony. Fans are encouraged to participate in “Pink at the Park”, wearing their pink to support breast cancer awareness.
Central Arkansas will send freshman right-hander Mark Moyer (5-2, 3.13) out in Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale against Lion sophomore righty Carlisle Koestler (3-3, 4.47).
Sunday will also feature a Cane’s Challenge. If the Lions score four runs or more, fans can redeem their game ticket or student coupon to their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers by the end of business on Monday to receive a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value.
The finale can be heard in the Hammond, Louisiana, area on KSLU 90.9 FM, and worldwide online or through the TuneIn Radio app (search for KSLU). Fans can keep up with the game through live statistics or by following @SLUathletics on Twitter.
Streaming video is available on LionVision, Southeastern’s subscription-based video stream.
Links for audio, video, stats, gameday promotions and tickets can be found on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
General Admission tickets for Lion home games are $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). Tax is included in the price of admission. Southeastern students are admitted free with a valid university ID card.
Students and campus organizations can earn points toward their Lion Up Loyalty account at any home game by checking in on the mobile app while in attendance.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.LionSports.net/Tickets. The box office at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens one hour prior to the scheduled first pitch.
GAME ONE – Southeastern 10, Central Arkansas 3
Southeastern ace pitcher Mac Sceroler struggled with his command, but the Lion offense backed him up with a five-run first inning.
Central Arkansas starting pitcher Tyler Gray walked Ryan Byers to lead off the first inning. After Byers was sacrificed into scoring position, Gray walked Taylor Schwaner.
Crites hit a grounder into the teeth of a defensive shift, but the second baseman, playing on the shortstop side of the bag, failed to make the play. With the bases loaded, Southeastern strung together three-consecutive singles.
Avans drove in Byers with a single to left field. Derrick Mount plated Schwaner and Crites with a single through the right side, while Bobo drove in Avans with another single to left.
The Lions’ final run of the inning, scored by Mount, came on a sacrifice fly to center field by Jacob Seward.
Central Arkansas answered with a pair of runs in the second. Southeastern tacked on a run in its half of the second as Crites, Avans and Mount strung together back-to-back-to-back singles. The Bears picked up a run of their own in the third on a solo home run by first baseman Hunter Strong.
Sceroler battled through six innings, holding on to a 6-3 lead.
Southeastern reached Gray for another run in the seventh, on an RBI single by Crites, before Sceroler handed the ball over to Bryce Tassin for the final three innings.
The Lions would then expand their lead on a two-run homer by Byers in the seventh and an RBI single by Mount in the eighth.
Sceroler improved his conference-best record to 9-1, earning the win. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks.
The junior from Denham Springs, Louisiana, struck out five batters, giving him 101 on the season. He becomes just the sixth pitcher in school history to reach the century mark in strikeouts in a single season and the first since Wade Miley fanned 119 batters during the 2008 season.
Tassin earned his second save of the season, scattering a pair of hits in three scoreless innings of relief. The redshirt freshman from Walker, Louisiana, struck out three.
Gray (5-5) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs – five earned – in six innings of work. He allowed nine hits and five walks, striking out three.
Avans (3-for-4), Bobo (2-for-3), Crites (3-for-5) and Mount (3-for-5) led the Lions at the plate. Mount drove in four and Crites scored three runs.
Central Arkansas…. 021 000 000 – 3 8 3 (28-21, 15-10 SLC)
Southeastern……….. 510 001 21X – 10 13 0 (32-16, 18-10 SLC)
Pitchers: Central Arkansas – Gray, Tyler; Murray, Jacob (7) and Hancock, William. Southeastern – Sceroler, Mac; Tassin, Bryce (7) and Wasinger, Daniel.
Win-Sceroler, Mac (9-1) Save-Tassin, Bryce (2) Loss-Gray, Tyler (5-5) T-2:33 A-1216
HR UCA – Strong, Hunter (4).
HR SLU – Byers, Ryan (10).
Weather: Cloudy 77, NNW 10 mph
GAME TWO – Southeastern 10, Central Arkansas 3
It took a little longer in game two, but the Lions erupted for five runs in the third inning and never looked back.
Central Arkansas starting pitcher Cody Davenport had retired the first six batters he faced before walking Bobo to lead off the inning. Seward singled with one out and Byers drew a walk to load the bases.
After a fielder’s choice erased Bobo at the plate, Schwaner smacked a bases-clearing triple into the gap in right-center. Crites followed with his 13th home run of the season, tying Schwaner for the conference lead.
Southeastern starting pitcher Corey Gaconi settled in quickly, retiring 10 straight batters after a one-out single in the first.
The Lions poured on the run support, adding a run in the fourth and four more in the seventh, staking Gaconi to a 10-0 lead.
An RBI single by Crites and two-run home run by Bobo highlighted the post-stretch rally.
Central Arkansas reached Gaconi (5-4) for a run in the eighth and picked up a pair off the bullpen in the ninth.
The sophomore from Metairie, Louisiana, allowed the one run in 7.1 innings pitched to earn the win. He scattered seven hits and one walk, striking out three batters. Carlo Graffeo worked the final 1.2 innings for the Lions.
Davenport (4-3) suffered the loss, allowing nine runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings of work. He walked and struck out five.
Avans (2-for-4), Bobo (2-for-3), Crites (2-for-5), Schwaner (2-for-4) and Seward (2-for-2) all turned in multi-hit performances in the nightcap. Crites and Schwaner each drove in three to lead Southeastern at the plate.
Central Arkansas…. 000 000 012 – 3 10 0 (28-22, 15-11 SLC)
Southeastern……….. 005 100 40X – 10 11 0 (33-16, 19-10 SLC)
Pitchers: Central Arkansas – Davenport, Cody; Young, Drew (7); Rogers, Ross (8) and Hancock, William; McCarty, Justin. Southeastern – Gaconi, Corey; Graffeo, Carlo (8) and Pace, Evan.
Win-Gaconi, Corey (5-4) Loss-Davenport, Cody (4-3) T-2:19 A-1114
HR SLU – Crites, Carson (13); Bobo, Webb (2).
Weather: Cloudy 82, NNW 9 mph