Privateers hand Tigers first home loss of season
NEW ORLEANS – While the term “March Madness” is normally associated with college basketball, the University of New Orleans baseball team had its own moment worthy of the title, outlasting No. 6 LSU in a 15-inning marathon 7-4 on Wednesday evening at Alex Box Stadium.
With the win, UNO completes the home-and-home sweep of the Tigers. The last time the Privateers had defeated LSU twice in a season was back in the 2008 season, when the Privateers advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The last time UNO played in a 15 inning game was also against LSU in 2008.
“This was a team win,” head coach Blake Dean said. “Everyone contributed something tonight. Our pitchers and defense did a great job today. When you execute and do what you are supposed to do baseball usually rewards you and that is what it did for us tonight.”
Senior outfielder Dakota Dean scored the game-winning run for New Orleans (10-7), hitting a leadoff double in the 15th inning and scoring later in the frame via a bad throw from LSU (13-5). Junior infielder Owen Magee added an insurance run with a single to score junior catcher John Cable, followed by a bases-loaded walk for senior infielder Aaron Palmer to make it 7-4.
The Tigers tried to force another inning, as they had done in the 11th when they responded to Magee’s doubles that scored junior outfielder Jared McKay with runners on the corners, but a groundout ended the contest.
Prior to the 15th inning, UNO’s only lead was in the opening inning as a deep hit from junior outfielder Tristan Clarke to score senior infielder Samuel Capielano. The lead was short-lived, as LSU countered with a three-run homerun in the bottom of the stanza to take the 3-1 advantage. The Privateers scored the final runs scored in regulation during the fifth inning, when Dean scored Capielano with a double and later scored on a wild pitch.
The contest almost did not go to extra innings, as LSU placed a ball in right center field with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Sophomore outfielder Orynn Veillon made a diving grab for the final out of the ninth and send the game into the 10th.
Junior left handed pitcher John Michael Stephens got the win for UNO after throwing 3.2 scoreless innings with only two hits allowed. Junior right handed pitcher William Griffin logged three scoreless innings while five other pitchers combined for the remaining 8.1 innings.
At the plate, Capielano posted a game-high four hits, while Magee posted two hits and a team-high two RBI and Dean posted three hits with one RBI.
For LSU, Collin Strall got the loss, his second loss of the season with both coming against UNO. Jake Slaughter was responsible for all the Tigers’ runs in regulation, with his lone hit of the game being a home run.
UNO returns to Maestri Field on Friday, Mar. 17 when New Orleans begins a Southland Conference series against Abilene Christian with first pitch slated 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.