UNO’s hitters battered Southern’s pitchers for the second time this season.
And the second beating was worse than the first.
The Privateers had a season-high 25 hits and scored in five consecutive innings, including six-run, five-run and seven-run rallies on their way to a 23-3 victory against the Jaguars on Tuesday night at Lee-Hines Field.
The game was shortened to seven innings by the mercy rule, just as the Privateers’ 14-4 victory March 8 at Maestri Field was shortened to 6½ innings.
In that game, UNO had 16 hits and four Southern errors contributed to nine of the runs being unearned. All but two of the runs Tuesday were earned.
Dakota Dean, former Parkview Baptist star Hezekiah Randolph and Preston Marsh hit homers. Hezekiah and Aaron Palmer both drove in four runs and Dean, Marsh and Samuel Capielano drove in three each.
“It was just one of those things,” said Randolph, who brought a half-dozen family members to their feet with his long drive over the left-field wall in the sixth for his fifth homer of the season, one of his four hits on the night. “Hitting is contagious. You get on a roll and things just roll downhill.”
UNO (25-15) won its seventh straight game heading into a nonconference game against Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Maestri Field.
The Jaguars (12-25) visit Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a Southwestern Athletic Conference series beginning Friday.
“Once it gets (out of hand), everyone is up there taking free swings,” UNO coach Blake Dean said. “It’s a little bit easier to hit when there’s no pressure on you and everyone else is doing it. There’s a trickle-down effect and the confidence builds and it turns into what it did.”
Every Privateer in the starting lineup had at least one hit and three Southern pitchers contributed five walks, two hit batsmen and a wild pitch.
Jaguars coach Roger Cador had a slow hook because he was saving all his weekend pitchers for the UAPB series as Southern fights to hold on to the final berth in the SWAC tournament.
“I wanted all the pitchers that we’re going to use on the weekend to be fresh for the weekend,” Cador said. “The weekend is a lot more important. I’m not worried about them getting work (in a midweek game). Let them get work in the bullpen.”
UNO, which scored 10 second-inning runs in the first meeting, broke out in the second again.
Southern took a 1-0 lead on Jose de la Torre’s RBI-single against Hunter Medine, whose only other decision this season came in the first game against the Jaguars, in the first, but the Privateers sent 11 batters to the plate against Harold Myles (1-7) in the second. They had seven hits, including five doubles to take a 6-1 lead.
UNO sent nine batters to the plate in the third and scored five runs to increase its lead to 11-1.
“We knew we had to get three innings out of Harold,” Cador said. “We didn’t know what we were going to get and obviously what we got wasn’t very good.”
Palmer’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly and Dakota Dean’s fifth homer of the season leading off the fifth pushed the Privateers lead to 13-1.
The Jaguars scored two in the fifth on Robinson Mateo’s RBI double and Mason Diaz’s bases-loaded walk.
Randolph’s three-run homer triggered a seven-run sixth against Jarod Jarreau that increased UNO’s lead to 20-3. Marsh’s three-run homer in the seventh completed the scoring.
Mateo had two of Southern’s five hits and scored twice.
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.