Lions host second-place Sam Houston State in key Southland series

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HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana hosts second-place Sam Houston State this weekend at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field in a Southland Conference series with postseason implications.

Featuring a matchup of the top two starting pitchers in the Southland, the opener is schedule for 6 p.m. Friday. The remaining games are slated for 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The fourth-place Lions (29-15, 15-9 Southland) sit 1.5 games back of Sam Houston (30-15, 15-6 Southland) in the conference standings entering the series.

All three games in the conference series 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.

Sunday’s series finale is a Cane’s Challenge game. If the Lions score four or more runs, fans will be able to redeem their game ticket or student coupon at their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers for a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value by the close of business on Monday.

Links for audio, video, stats, gameday promotions and tickets can be found on the baseball schedule page at

Friday at 6 p.m., the Lions will send junior right-hander Mac Sceroler (8-1, 2.14) to the mound opposite Sam Houston senior righty Heath Donica (7-1, 2.06). Donica and Sceroler are the top two winners in the Southland, and rank first and third respectively in ERA.

Sophomore right-hander Corey Gaconi (4-4, 2.77) gets the starting nod Saturday at 2 p.m. versus Bearkat freshman left-hander Kyle Backhus (3-3, 3.72).

Sam Houston will send freshman right-hander Hayden Wesneski (7-2, 3.64) out in Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale against Lion sophomore righty Carlisle Koestler (3-2, 3.92).

Southeastern is riding a six-game winning streak, coming off a series sweep at Southland Conference foe Stephen F. Austin this past weekend and a 16-2 win Tuesday at Tulane.

Taylor Schwaner (.363), Carson Crites (.304), Derrick Mount (.293) and Drew Avans (.285) lead Southeastern at the plate. Schwaner is the Southland leader with 13 home runs and ranks second nationally with 63 RBIs. Mount is third nationally with eight sacrifice flies. Avans owns a team-high 21 stolen bases.

The Lions are hitting .252 as a team, with 74 doubles, 18 triples, 41 home runs and 87 stolen bases. Southeastern’s pitching staff enters the game with a 3.76 ERA, having fanned 313 batters through 390.1 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .243 off Lion pitching.

Sam Houston took 2-of-3 from conference-leader McNeese this past weekend in Huntsville, Texas, and followed that up with a 3-2 win Tuesday against No. 23-ranked Houston.

Blake Chisholm (.357), Bryce Johnson (.348), Hunter Hearn (.338) and Taylor Beene (.331) lead the Bearkats at the plate. Andrew Fregia has hit a team-high five home runs, and is tied with both Lance Miles and Clayton Harp for the team lead in RBI (33). Johnson has swiped a team-best 21 bases.

Sam Houston is hitting a conference-leading .309 as a team, with 78 doubles, 28 triples, 21 home runs and 75 stolen bases. Bearkat pitchers have combined for a 3.75 ERA and 345 strikeouts in 401 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .258 off Sam Houston pitching.

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 online at or by contacting the athletics ticket office at (985) 549-5466 or 1-866-LION-TIX. Ticket office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Fridays. The box office at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens one hour prior to the scheduled first pitch.

Southeastern continues its six-game homestand Friday at 6 p.m. in the opener of a conference series against Central Arkansas.

Southeastern Louisiana Lions (29-15, 15-9 Southland) vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats (30-15, 15-6 Southland)

Friday, May 5 – 6 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – Senior RHP Heath Donica (7-1, 2.06) vs.
SLU – Junior RHP Mac Sceroler (8-1, 2.14)

Saturday, May 6 – 2 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – Freshman LHP Kyle Backhus (3-3, 3.72) vs.
SLU – Sophomore RHP Corey Gaconi (4-4, 2.77)

Sunday, May 7 – 1 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – Freshman RHP Hayden Wesneski (7-2, 3.64) vs.
SLU – Sophomore RHP Carlisle Koestler (3-2, 3.92)

Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field (Hammond, Louisiana)

• KSLU, 90.9 FM
• Pregame show starts 15 minutes prior to first pitch

• – live audio, stats and video
• TuneIn Radio app

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Damon Sunde

Damon Sunde

Associate Director of Sports Information, Southeastern Louisiana University

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