New Orleans Baseball bests Alcorn State 7-6 with walk-off hit

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Sam Capielano


Samuel Capielano’s ninth-inning hit brings game-winning run home

NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans baseball team concluded their three-game series with Alcorn State on Sunday afternoon, overcoming a four-run first inning for the Braves by outscoring the opposition 7-2 for the remainder of the contest to complete the series sweep with a 7-6 score.

New Orleans (9-3) scored the game-winning run in the ninth inning, when a single through the right side by senior infielder Samuel Capielano scored freshman infielder Darren Willis, who came in to pinch run for junior infielder Owen Magee, from third. Junior infielder Dakota Phillips advanced Willis from second to third base prior to Capielano’s at bat with a deep fly ball to right field.

“We found a way to win today,” head coach Blake Dean said. “We didn’t set the tone early on. Alcorn’s pitcher did a good job of throwing strikes. Every game we have someone new step up, we need someone to step up and consistently make big plays for us.”

Alcorn State (4-7) ended the Privateers streak of 21 scoreless frames in the opening inning, scoring four runs including a three-RBI home run. UNO responded with one run in the bottom of the inning and two in the second, with senior Aaron Palmer scoring twice in the span highlighted by a two-RBI home run to bring the deficit to one. The Braves added two more runs to the lead in the top of the third, making it a three-run game at 6-3.

UNO knotted up the score with runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, with the game-winning tally coming in the ninth. Palmer added another RBI to his stat line in the fourth frame, hitting the ball to center field with Capielano scoring on the sacrifice fly. Junior outfielder Tristan Clarke brought the Privateers to within one with a solo home run in the sixth, while a double to right center from junior outfielder Jared McKay in the following inning scored Capielano to tie it up at 6-all.

Clarke led the offense with four hits and a RBI, followed by Capielano and McKay who both finished with three hits and a RBI. Palmer rounded out the Privateers with multiple hits, posting two with three RBI.

On the mound, freshman right handed pitcher Reeves Martin got the win, throwing the final four innings while allowing just one hit and striking out five Braves. Junior right handed pitcher Rafael Martinez got the start for UNO and allowed four runs off five hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Junior southpaw Matthew Gillis chipped in three innings of work for New Orleans, allowing two runs off five hits with a pair of strikeouts.

For Alcorn State, Jason Sanez went 3-4 with three RBI and a homerun, while Kirt Cormier and Patrick McMahon each posted two hits. Carlos Lopez picked up the loss for the Braves, allowing three runs off four hits with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

The Privateers return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 7 when they host Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. UNO begins Southland Conference play on Friday, Mar. 10 when they host Southeastern Louisiana in a televised contest starting at 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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