Ninth-inning drama gives Nicholls 8-7 win over New Orleans Baseball

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Senior Hezekiah Randolph climbs up in the program record book with two doubles.

THIBODAUX, La. – Trailing 7-1 after seven inning, the University of New Orleans baseball team completely erased the six-run deficit with three scores in the eighth and an identical total in the ninth to knot up the score on Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately for the Privateers, Nicholls opened up the bottom of the inning with a hit, with the runner eventually scoring the game-winning run off a wild pitch for an 8-7 victory.

In the loss, senior designated hitter Hezekiah Randolph posted a pair of doubles to move the Baton Rouge, La. product into eighth in program history with 45. The senior has now played in 198 career games, moving him two-away from becoming just the 14th Privateer in program history to play in 200 games.

“I thought offensively we hit a lot of balls hard today,” head coach Blake Dean said. “We had a big rally there in the ninth, but we ultimately fell short. I liked the fight I saw the guys had late in the game, we just need that throughout the course of the entire game.

New Orleans’ (25-25-1, 13-14 Southland Conference) six-run comeback began in the eighth inning, with a hit by junior catcher John Cable and a hit by pitch for junior third baseman Owen Magee putting runners on first and second before a double from senior first baseman Dakota Dean sent Cable home with no outs in the frame. Both runners scored on the ensuing at bat, as Randolph posted his second double of the game to cut the deficit to three.

In the final inning, senior shortstop Aaron Palmer led off with a walk, advancing to second on a while pitch before a single from Cable sent him home. Junior Jared McKay came in to pinch run for Cable, and scored off a double from Magee to cut the deficit to one with just one out in the frame. Dean followed up with walk, with Magee advancing on a wild pitch to put him in position to score which he was able to on a single from Randolph to knot up the score 7-all.

Nicholls (28-25, 14-13 Southland Conference) opened up the bottom of the ninth with a single, moving the baserunner with a walk and a sacrifice fly. With one out and the game-winning run on third base, a costly wild pitch allowed Quade Smith to score.

“Tip your hat to Nicholls for competing and coming out ahead.” Dean concluded.

For UNO, Randolph led the offense with three hits and three RBI, while Cable posted three hits and one RBI. Palmer and senior second baseman Samuel Capielano both chipped in two hits.

Senior right-handed pitcher Riley Hodge got the start and allowed three runs off four hits in 2.1 innings with two walks and no strikeouts. Freshman righty Reeves Martin came in and logged two innings, with senior southpaw Hunter Medine, freshman lefty Christopher Demayo, junior left-handed pitcher John Michael Stephens plus junior right-handed pitchers Rafael Martinez and Jarred Taylor all making relief appearances.

For Nicholls, Ethan Valdez and Juan Givan both posted three hits, with Givan contributing a pair of RBI. Alex Ernestine logged seven innings on the mound and allowed one run off six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

The Privateers play their final midweek game of the 2017 campaign on Tuesday, May 16 at Tulane with first pitch scheduled for 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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