Privateers return to Maestri Field for conference series against Huskies
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans baseball team returns to the friendly confines of Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark after playing its last 11 games on the road on Friday, May 5, when the Privateers begin a three-game Southland Conference series against Houston Baptist. First game of the weekend series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with Saturday starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
This will be the first time HBU is coming to the Lakefront, as the two sides first met in Houston, Texas back in 2014 with the Huskies taking two-of-three in the Southland Conference series. Senior Hezekiah Randolph posted five hits over the weekend series on a .455 batting average, while senior infielder Samuel Capielano chipped four hits with two runs scored. Senior left-handed pitcher Hunter Medine made one mound appearance in the series, striking out one batter in 0.2 innings.
“[Houston Baptist] is one of the top teams in the conference,” head coach Blake Dean said. “Pitching looks to be their strong suit, they have depth in their bullpen so we expect them to pitch well against us. We are going to have to score runs and get quality starts from [Shawn] Semple and [Bryan] Warzek on Friday and Saturday with good defense behind them.”
New Orleans (22-22-1, 10-11 Southland Conference) returns home after a 10-1 victory over Grambling State in Biloxi, Miss., for the third victory in their last four games
Offensively, New Orleans is hitting .295 (467-1583) with a .444 slugging percentage off the strength of 86 doubles, 12 triples and 42 home runs while posting 263 RBI. Junior catcher John Cable leads four Privateers who are hitting over .300 with a .353 average, followed by junior infielder Owen Magee, Capielano and sophomore centerfielder Orynn Veillon with marks of .345, .328, and .305 respectively. Magee leads the team with 13 doubles, with Capielano boasting three doubles and junior outfielder Tristan Clarke and Veillon both having nine home runs while Magee also leads the team with 40 RBI.
On the mound, UNO sports a 4.67 ERA while tallying 347 strikeouts with 173 walks in 399.1 innings of work to date. Sophomore southpaw Bryan Warzek and junior right-handed pitcher Shawn Semple both have six wins; with Warzek posting a team-low 2.25 ERA in a team-high 72.0 innings while Semple boasts a team-best 73 strikeouts and freshman left-handed pitcher Christopher DeMayo holding opposing batters to a team-low .227 average. Freshman right handed pitcher Reeves Martin leads the team with three saves and 23 mound appearances this season.
Houston Baptist (22-18, 14-7 Southland Conference) played its final midweek contest prior to making its first trip to the Lakefront, losing 8-2 to No. 15 Texas A&M.
The Huskies are hitting .277 (365-1316) as a team with a .376 slugging percentage coming from 60 doubles, 11 triples and 16 home runs while tallying 181 RBI. Spencer Halloran leads HBU with a .346 batting average, 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 25 RBI, all team-highs, with 23 walks for a .430 on base percentage.
On the mound, Houston Baptist has a team ERA of 3.98 with 245 strikeouts and 129 walks in 348.1 innings of work. Christian Thames has a team-best six victories, while Addison Russ provides 59 strikeouts in 69.0 innings with Daniel Endsley boasting a 2.12 ERA.
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.