HAMMOND, La. – After a nine-run lead turned into a late, two-run deficit, the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team rallied for an 18-15 win Saturday over Houston Baptist in Southland Conference action at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Shea Thomas, who homered for the second time in as many games, blasted a three-run home run to left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth to provide the winning margin for Southeastern (21-25, 11-9 SLC). It was his third long ball of the season and the Lions’ second walk-off homer of the season.

A leadoff home run in the third provided HBU (18-30, 11-9 SLC) a 1-0 lead.

The Lions scored a pair of runs in the fourth, taking the lead. Rhett Rosevear led off with a triple to center field, coming home to score on Tyler Finke’s RBI single to left field. Finke stole second base and later advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on Thomas’ sacrifice fly to right.

Another leadoff home run by the Huskies in the fifth tied the game, 2-2, but SLU posted six runs in the bottom half of the inning to go back in front.

Christian Garcia and Tyler Finke both provided run-scoring triples while Bryce Grizzaffi and Preston Faulkner both contributed RBI singles. Grizzaffi scored on a passed ball and Thomas added another run on his second sac fly in as many innings.

The Huskies added a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run homer.

Southeastern responded with five more runs in the bottom of the inning, taking a 13-4 lead. Three consecutive hits by Garcia, Grizzaffi and Evan Keller produced the first run. Extending his nation-leading HBP total to 29 this season, Rosevear was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With one out, Faulkner and Thomas mashed back-to-back two-run doubles.

After working out of a jam in the sixth, Hayden Robb struggled to maintain his form in the seventh. He, along with Lance Lauve and Alex Potter combined to give up 10 runs in the seventh as the Huskies grabbed a 14-13 lead.

HBU extended its lead in the eighth with its third leadoff homer of the game and fourth overall.

The Lion rally started with Finke drawing a leadoff walk in the eighth. Faulkner followed with another double, driving in Finke. With four RBIs in the game, Faulkner now has 154 in his career. The total is good for sole possession of fourth place in program history, two behind Ty Summerlin who currently sits in third place.

HBU brought in its closer, Andrew Reitmeyer, but he issued a walk to Thomas. With one out, the pair executed a double steal. It marks the second time this season Faulkner has swiped a pair of bags in the same game. He would come home to score on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Tristan Welch.

Gage Trahan worked a scoreless ninth for the Lions, setting up Thomas’ heroics in the bottom half of the inning.

Finke drew a one-out walk off reliever Brennen Bales. After he stole second, the Huskies intentionally walked Faulkner. Thomas then launched a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left.

Trahan (3-3) earned the win, walking one and striking out one in his lone inning of work. Bales (0-1), the ninth HBU pitcher of the game, suffered the loss. He allowed three runs on one hit and a pair of walks in 0.1 innings pitched.

Seven players on each team turned in multi-hit performances, including Faulkner (3-for-5), Champ Artigues (2-for-5), Finke (2-for-4), Garcia (2-for-4), Grizzaffi (2-for-3), Keller (2-for-6) and Thomas (2-for-3). The 16 total hits by SLU are a season-high for the Lions.

Faulkner and Finke scored four runs apiece while Thomas became the first Lion since Taylor Schwaner (April 27, 2018, vs. Stephen F. Austin) to drive in seven runs in a single game.

With the victory, Southeastern pulled into a five-way tie with HBU, McNeese (26-21, 11-9 SLC), Nicholls (24-19, 11-9 SLC) and Northwestern State (23-23, 11-9 SLC) for first place in the conference standings.

It was the fifth walk-off win and 11th comeback victory of the season for SLU.

UP NEXT

The series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m. It is Senior Day and a designated Cane’s Challenge contest. Prior to the game, nine senior players will be recognized for their contributions to the SLU baseball program and free baseball cards will be available at the marketing and promotions table.

When the Lions score four or more runs Sunday, fans can take their ticket or student coupon to any participating Raising Cane’s location for a buy-one, get-one-free offer on any combo.

SLU plans to start sophomore right-hander Andrew Landry (2-5, 7.45) while the Huskies will counter with sophomore right-hander Matthew Charles (3-0, 6.62) in the series finale.

Fans in the Hammond area can listen on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network – KSLU 90.9 FM – in addition to online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and via the Lions Gameday Experience, Mixlr and MyTuner Radio apps. The MyTuner app is compatible with the Apple CarPlay software available in most late model automobiles. Fans should search for SLU Athletics (Mixlr) or Southeastern Sports Radio Network (MyTuner).

The game will also air on ESPN+.

TICKET & PARKING INFORMATION
Single-game tickets are on sale for the remainder of the regular season. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to minimize ticket lines on game days. Southeastern students are encouraged to contact the ticket office prior to the game to reserve theirs in advance.

General admission tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for youth (ages 3-12). Southeastern students, with a university ID, and children under age 2 are admitted for free. Gameday parking is $5 per day for standard vehicles and $25 for RVs.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.LionSports.net/Tickets or by contacting the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. The ticket booth at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens exactly one hour prior to the scheduled first pitch.

Southeastern uses mobile ticketing as the primary method for distributing tickets purchased online. Tickets will be available via text message or email in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet. 

CLEAR BAG POLICY
Southeastern Athletics enforces a clear bag policy for all ticketed events. The policy mirrors safety precautions required for entrance to professional and collegiate sporting venues throughout the country. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/Clear.

RADIO SHOW

The next episode of Inside Southeastern Baseball with Matt Riser, presented by Pour House Pizza and Beer Garden, is slated for Monday at 12 p.m. from the restaurant in downtown Hammond. Fans can listen to every show online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and via the Lions Gameday Experience, MyTuner Radio or Mixlr apps. The MyTuner Radio app is compatible with the Apple CarPlay software available in most newer automobiles.

LIONS GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE APP
The Lions Gameday Experience app puts audio, stats, video, social media and more in the hands of fans. Those in attendance can also check in to earn reward points redeemable for Southeastern-related prizes. Available for both Android and iOS devices, it can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play or by following the link www.LionSports.net/App.
 
DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
 
All membership fees and donations to both the Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern baseball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at laa@southeastern.edu or (985) 549-5091 or by visiting www.LionUp.com.
  
SOCIAL MEDIA
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

LINE SCORE

Southeastern 18, Houston Baptist 15 (May 07, 2022 at Hammond, La.)

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Houston Baptist ….. 001 012 (10)10 – 15 17  2      (18-30, 11-9 SLC)

Southeastern ……….. 000 265 0   23   – 18 16  2      (21-25, 11-9 SLC)

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Pitchers: Houston Baptist – Burch, Jared; Tinker, Daxton (5); Smitherman, Javan (5); Ewald, Tim (6); Powell, Jordan (6); King, Thomas (6); Zarella, Tyler (7); Reitmeyer, Andrew (8); Bales, Brennen (9) and Ortiz, Kevin; Woods, Dawson; Edwards, Parker. Southeastern – O’Toole, Hunter; Robb, Hayden (6); Lauve, Lance (7); Potter, Alex (7); Trahan, Gage (9) and Grizzaffi, Bryce.

Win-Trahan, Gage (3-3)  Loss-Bales, Brennen (0-1)  T-3:57  A-1030

HR HBU – Miller, Jake (4); Davila, Diego (4); Edwards, Parker 2 (8); Chumley, Reed (5).

HR SLU – Thomas, Shea (3).

Weather: 87 Mostly Sunny, W 6 mph

J. Burch faced 4 batters in the 5th.

T. Ewald faced 4 batters in the 6th.

Lauve, L. faced 3 batters in the 7th.

T. Zarella faced 2 batters in the 8th.

{Courtesy: release from Southeastern}