Offense powers UNO to 8-3 series-clinching win over HBU

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Senior designated hitter Hezekiah Randolph hits home run for second-consecutive game

NEW ORLEANS – After a dominant outing on the mound carried the University of New Orleans baseball to team to victory on Friday, it was the offense that stepped up on Saturday afternoon in an 8-3 victory over Houston Baptist at Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark.

Overall, New Orleans (24-22-1, 12-11 Southland Conference) posted 16 hits with eight batters logging at least one and six posting multiple. Senior first baseman Dakota Dean paced the Privateers with three hits, two going for doubles, with a RBI while sophomore center fielder Orynn Veillon matched his hit total. Senior designated hitter Hezekiah Randolph contributed a team-high three RBI, followed by junior third baseman Owen Magee with two.

“I thought that was our best overall performance as a team this season,” head coach Blake Dean said. “We hit the ball 1-9, we pitched well, we didn’t make a few plays on defense but we overcame them and did a great job. We were being aggressive offensively and playing unselfishly. When you play unselfishly good things happen and that is what we are doing.”

The Privateers took the lead in the opening stanza, responding to two runs from HBU (22-20, 14-9 Southland Conference) with three in their first at bat. Senior shortstop Aaron Palmer and senior second baseman Samuel Capielano led off with a base hit and walk before a double from Magee sent both home. Magee touched home plate on the ensuing at bat, as a single from Dean put UNO up 3-2. The home side doubled the lead in the fifth inning off a three-run homer from Randolph, his second home run in as many days, while a sacrifice fly from junior right fielder Tristan Clarke in the seventh inning and a RBI single from junior catcher John Cable in the eighth ended the scoring.

On the mound for UNO, sophomore southpaw Bryan Warzek got the start and allowed three runs, one earned, off five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 8.0 innings. Freshman right-handed pitcher Reeves Martin came in and threw a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.

For HBU, Jake Pulcheon logged their lone RBI, while five different Huskies posted one hit. On the mound, Christian Thames went a team-high 4.2 innings and allowed six runs off 11 hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

“I told the guys, tomorrow can make or break the season,” Dean commented on Sunday’s game. “It is a must-win game for us. All season we have done a good job of taking two, but we have not been able to finish off an opponent. We are going to have to continue hitting and manufacture runs tomorrow.”

The series’ finale between UNO and HBU is scheduled for Sunday, May 7, at1 p.m. Following the weekend series, UNO is back in action on Friday, May 12, when they begin a three-game series with Nicholls. 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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