THIBODAUX, La. – The University of New Orleans baseball team began a pivotal three-game Southland Conference series with Nicholls on Friday evening, using three extra-base hits from sophomore Orynn Veillon to defeat the hosts 5-2. The win marks the first for the Privateers over Nicholls since 2010 and snaps a 15-game skid against the Colonels.
New Orleans (25-23-1, 13-12 Southland Conference) responded to a first-inning tally from Nicholls (26-25, 12-13 Southland Conference) with three unanswered runs to take the lead, adding three insurance runs in the final frame. Five of the Privateers runs came with two outs, while all the Colonels scoring occurred with two outs.
“We battled tough and got some good at bats,” head coach Blake Dean said. “[Orynn] Veillon had a great game, easily his best performance he has had for us this season, [Shawn] Semple threw good pitches for us and we found a way to win.”
The Privateers knotted up the score in the fifth inning, starting a two-out rally with a walk for junior left fielder Jay Robinson followed by a deep triple from Veillon to get UNO on the scoreboard. The visitors took the lead in the seventh inning, which opened up with senior first baseman Dakota Dean leading off with a single. Senior designated hitter Hezekiah Randolph, the ensuing batter, placed a ball down the third-base line to score Dean and put the Privateers ahead 2-1. Veillon added to the lead with a double that sent Randolph home.
In the final inning, the Privateers benefited from a two-out error by the Colonels to put junior right fielder Tristan Clarke on base. Robinson moved Clarke to second with a single before Veillon’s second triple of the contest sent both runners home. Veillon scored on the following pitch, which went past Nicholls’ catcher for a passed ball.
Veillon paced the Privateers with three hits, all going for extra bases, with four RBI while Dean contributed two singles.
On the mound, junior right-handed pitcher Shawn Semple got the start and allowed one run off six hits in 6.0 innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. Freshman righty Reeves Martin logged one inning on the mound, striking out two batters while allowing one run, with freshman southpaw Christopher DeMayo closing out the game with two scoreless frames.
For Nicholls, Teer Gage led the offense with three hits, two resulting in doubles, with a RBI. On the mound, Cole Stapler logged 6.2 innings with three runs allowed off five hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
“It’s going to be another game like this tomorrow,” Dean concluded. “We are going to have to do the same thing again, they are going to be tough, they are going to battle us and they are going to come after us pitch after pitch. We are going to have to make plays when they are presented to us and we cannot make any errors.”
Game two of the weekend series will be on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark. Following the contest, the Privateers will honor its senior class with fireworks after. 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.