UNO rallies with big 7th inning to sweep ACU

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Owen Magee

BOX SCORE

Privateers score six runs in the seventh inning to win 9-8

NEW ORLEANS – Trailing for the majority of the game on Sunday afternoon at Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark, the University of New Orleans baseball team overcame a seven-run deficit to defeat Abilene Christian 9-8 and complete the series sweep.

It is the first conference series sweep for New Orleans (13-7, 3-3 Southland Conference) since joining the SLC, and just the second-time since becoming members of the conference that they have swept a weekend series in league play. The first Southland Conference series sweep for the Privateers came last season, when UNO won three at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

“We started off slow today,” head coach Blake Dean said. “We were not pitching too well at the beginning, but our relievers did a great job of giving our offense a chance to get back into the game, which they were able to do. Our guys fought at the plate and were able to get big hits when we needed them.”

Abilene Christian (9-10, 1-5 Southland Conference) created a 7-0 advantage in the first four innings, taking the lead in the opening stanza and adding three runs in the second and fourth frames. The Privateers got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning off a triple from senior infielder Samuel Capielano to score sophomore outfielder Orynn Veillon and junior outfielder Jay Robinson. ACU responded with a run in the top of the sixth, but a double from junior Owen Magee scored junior outfielder Tristan Clarke to keep the separation at five, 8-3, heading into the seventh.

Following a leadoff groundout in the bottom of the seventh, the Privateers posted three-straight singles with senior infielder Dakota Dean hitting the last one to score freshman infielder Darren Willis. UNO got another run two batters later, as Clarke drew a walk to load the bases followed by junior catcher Spencer Miller drawing a base on balls to score Capielano. With the bases loaded, Magee hit a double into left field to score Dean, Clarke and Miller and advanced to third base on an error. Junior infielder Chase Crump ended the scoring frenzy, and gave the Privateers their first lead of the contest, with a sacrifice fly to score Magee.

“We have been doing a better job of not giving away at bats this weekend,” Dean said. “We are laying off bad pitches and hitting balls that are in in the zone.”

The Privateers boasted a balanced offense in the victory with 10 different batters recording a hit. Magee paced the attack with four RBI and two hits, both doubles, while Capielano, Robinson and Veillon all had two hits.

On the mound for UNO, junior left handed pitcher Matthew Gillis got the win after throwing 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Junior right handed pitcher William Griffin got the save while senior right handed pitcher Riley Hodge got the start with junior righted handed pitcher Rafael Martinez and freshman right handed pitcher Reeves Martin both making relief appearances.

For ACU, Derek Scott and Mark Pearson both recorded three hits and one RBI apiece. Drew Hanson got the start for the Wildcats, going five innings with four strikeouts.

UNO hits the road for a six-game road swing, starting at Missouri State on Tuesday, Mar. 21. New Orleans is back at Maestri Field on Friday, Mar. 31 when UNO hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 6:30 to start a Southland Conference series. 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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