Southeastern Louisiana’s baseball team came into its weekend series against UNO as a dominant force in the Southland Conference, led by its powerful pitching staff.
But two games into the series, the Privateers bats proved they can be just as powerful.
The UNO offense came to life late and ran away with a 10-3 to clinch a Southland series victory over the Lions on Saturday at Maestri Field.
Saturday’s victory also gave UNO (30-19, 14-12 SLC) its first 30-win regular season since 2007.
SLU (35-15, 21-5) gave up double-digit runs for the second consecutive game after allowing only 10 or more runs once all year, and the Lions suffered their first SLC series loss since April 2014.
“I’m just at a loss of words for what these guys are doing,” UNO coach Blake Dean said. “These guys have just showed they are tired of losing and, hopefully, they are here to stay.
“I hope people start recognizing what we are doing and start buying in.”
With both the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth, Jay Robinson hit UNO’s second RBI groundout of the game to grab the lead for the Privateers, and two pitches later Aaron Palmer added an RBI single to center field for a 3-1 lead.
SLU answered in the fifth by taking advantage of a wild pitch and an error to score two runs and tie the game at 3-3.
After taking the lead by scoring a run in the fifth and sixth innings, UNO put the game away with a five-run eighth that started with an RBI single by Hezekiah Randolph. Preston Marsh followed with a two-run single, and Ray Veit crushed a two-run triple to center field that ballooned the lead to 10-3.
“I just think it’s because the focus everybody came in with and how we were just locked in,” said Dakota Dean, who went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. “Every at-bat, every pitch and every play on defense, we wanted to show that we had a different mindset and show what we can do.”
“Everybody is ecstatic right now for what we’ve accomplished,” Dakota Dean said. “We wanted to turn the program around and get it going in the right direction, and this shows how good we can be when we are playing well.”
While UNO starting pitcher Hunter Medine exited after 4.1 innings because of trouble with his control, Jordan Priddle came in for relief and had maybe his best outing of the season.
The senior pitched 4.2 shutout innings and gave up only one hit and one walk on his way to closing out the win, and Blake Dean said his poise was vital in securing the victory.
“Jordan did a great job today,” Blake Dean said. “For him to go out and throw like that, I can’t ask anything more of our bullpen.”