UNO withstands late Abilene Christian rally for 8-6 win

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Shawn Semple

BOX SCORE

Privateers win first Southland Conference game of season

NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans baseball team began its Southland Conference series against Abilene Christian on Friday evening, defeating the visiting Wildcats 8-6 for the Privateers first Southland Conference victory of the season.

New Orleans (11-7, 1-3 Southland Conference) led 8-4 after seven innings, but runs in the eighth and ninth plus two hits in the final frame of regulation made it 8-6 with a runner on first and one out. The Privateers prevented Abilene Christian from scoring any more runs, retiring the final two batters with junior right handed pitcher Jarred Taylor striking out a batter to end the ballgame.

“We did a good job of applying pressure on them today,” head coach Blake Dean said. “Our hitting still looked off, but we were able to do other things well. We did enough defensively to get the win.”

Abilene Christian (8-7, 1-3 Southland Conference) created an early 4-1 lead in the contest, scoring four runs in the second inning after a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Tristan Clarke scored senior infielder Samuel Capielano in the opening stanza.

The Privateers scored the bulk of their runs in innings three thru six, scoring seven runs while junior right handed pitcher Shawn Semple held Abilene Christian off the bases with a streak of 12 batters retired without a hit or walk. Junior catcher John Cable began the scoring spree with a sacrifice fly to score Capielano, while a sequence of two stolen bases and a wild pitch from ACU’s pitcher in three-consecutive pitches brought sophomore outfielder Orynn Veillon from first base to home and brought the deficit to one at 4-3 at the end of four innings.

UNO took the lead in the fifth, starting with a single by junior infielder Owen Magee to score senior infielder Dakota Dean and followed by a two-RBI single by junior outfielder Jay Robinson to bring senior outfielder Hezekiah Randolph and Magee home. The Privateers added two insurance runs to the lead in the sixth inning, with Dean scoring on a wild pitch and Magee bringing Cable home with a single.

“We got the momentum back in the middle innings,” Dean said. “Their pitcher started walking our guys which their offense to sleep and gave Semple a chance to settle in. Semple was able to find his groove and did a great job of throwing strikes and keeping runners off the bases.”

Semple ended the night with 10 strikeouts in 7.0 innings while allowing four runs off six hits. Freshman right handed pitcher Reeves Martin and Taylor finished off the game, with both Privateers posting identical stat lines of one strikeout and one run off two hits in one inning.

Magee and Robinson led UNO in the batter’s box with two hits and a pair of RBI, while Veillon finished the evening with two hits and two stolen bases.

For ACU, Farkas Dalon and Cole Solomon both posted two hits, while Luis Trevino blasted a home run for the Wildcats to lead off the eighth inning. Austin Lambright logged a team-high 4.0 innings on the mound for the visitors, finishing with four runs scored off four hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

The series continues on Saturday, Mar. 18 at 2 p.m. with the finale slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. Following the weekend series, UNO hits the road for a six-game road swing, starting at Missouri State on Tuesday, Mar. 21. New Orleans is back at Maestri Field 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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