Bryan Warzek tosses career-high in strikeouts
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans baseball team began a three-game series against Alcorn State on Friday evening, putting on a clinic on the mound with 16 strikeouts while posting just as many hits in a 10-0 shutout victory.
Just 10 games into the 2017, New Orleans (7-3) has three shutout victories, more than they had all of last season. The Privateers pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts, the most under head coach Blake Dean, with sophomore southpaw Bryan Warzek throwing a career-high 13 Ks in six innings. Freshman right handed pitcher Grant Baker, junior left handed pitcher Connor Kaucic and junior right handed pitcher Jarred Taylor combined for the final three innings of the shutout with each adding a strikeout. It is the most team strikeouts by UNO in almost 10 years, and the first time the Privateers held their opponents to just one hit in that span.
“Bryan did an unreal job on the mound today,” Dean said. “And on top of that, we finally swung the bats the way we should. This is the way I’ve been looking for this team to play. Now we just have to repeat and show some consistency.”
The Privateers scored the go-ahead run in the first inning, as senior infielder Aaron Palmer opened up the frame with a single and advanced to third off back-to-back groundouts before touching home plate on a wild pitch. UNO added four more runs in the following two stanzas, using five hits in the stretch with two coming from junior catcher John Cable and a triple from sophomore outfielder Orynn Veillon.
UNO doubled its lead over Alcorn (4-5) in the final frames, starting with a pair of doubles from junior outfielder Tristan Clarke and junior infielder Owen Magee to score two runs in the fifth. In the seventh inning, senior outfielder Hezekiah Randolph took one over the left field wall for his second home run of the season, later followed by a sacrifice fly from freshman infielder Darren Willis for his first collegiate RBI. Junior infielder Samuel Weidie put the Privateers into double-digits in the eighth inning with a single to left field.
Cable paced the Privateers with four hits and three runs scored, while Veillon posted a team-best three RBI off two hits. Two of Magee’s three hits were doubles, with junior outfielder Tristan Clarke, Cable and Palmer all chipping in two-base hits.
For Alcorn, Jahborus Smith got the start, allowing six runs off nine hits in 5.0 innings. A.J. Makarewicz got the Braves lone hit in the contest.
With the win, the Privateers have won at least seven of their first 10 games in back-to-back seasons since 1995 and 1996.
The weekend series continues on Saturday, Mar. 4, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Following the weekend series, 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.