HAMMOND, La. – The No. 2-seeded Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team defeated No. 6-seeded Houston Baptist, 12-4, eliminating the Huskies from the Southland Conference Tournament Friday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

After a scoreless first inning, Southeastern (25-28) in each of the next four frames against HBU (18-36).

Shea Thomas was hit by a pitch leading off the second. Advancing into scoring position two batters later when Husky third baseman Jake Miller failed to cleanly handle Tyler Finke’s grounder, Thomas scored on Christian Garcia’s RBI double to right-center field.

Evan Keller drew a walk leading off the third. Advancing to second on a passed ball, he later swiped third base. It was his 20th stolen base of the season. When a third strike to Preston Faulkner got past catcher Parker Edwards, Keller scored as the ensuing throw went to first to retire Faulkner.

In the fourth, Finke drove a one-out single to left-center. After swiping his first of two bags in the game, he advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Garcia plated him with an RBI single up the middle.

The Huskies broke up Adam Guth’s shutout bid in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive two-out singles.

SLU responded with a pair of runs in the fifth, taking a 5-1 lead. Keller drew another leadoff walk, putting him aboard for Rhett Rosevear’s first home run of the game.

HBU pulled a run closed in the sixth on a solo home run, the first of two in the game by first baseman Brennen Bales.

The Lions nearly doubled their offensive output in the seventh, taking a 9-2 lead. Reliever Tyler Zarella hit Bryce Grizzaffi with a pitch. Grizzaffi stole second and later scored on Keller’s RBI single through the left side. Keller scored on Rosevear’s second two-run homer of the game. The blast to right was also his third in the last 24 hours.

Faulkner capped off the inning with a solo homer to left, marking the first time SLU has hit back-to-back home runs since Keller and Rosevear accomplished the feat on May 8 against the Huskies. The home run was his conference-leading 14th of the season and the 34th of his career, giving him sole possession of second place on Southeastern’s all-time charts.

Bales’ second home run of the game came with a runner aboard in the eighth, pulling the Huskies within five but SLU added three more runs in the ninth to wrap up the scoring.

The big hit in the ninth was a leadoff home run from Keller, his ninth of the season and second in as many games.

Guth (4-1) earned the win, logging a career-high seven innings. He allowed three runs on 10 hits and one walk, tying a career-high with seven strikeouts. HBU starting pitcher Jared Burch (1-5) suffered the loss, allowing five runs – four earned – in six innings of work.

Five Lions turned in multi-hit performances, including Rosevear (3-for-5), Faulkner (2-for-5), Finke (2-for-5), Garcia (2-for-5) and Keller (2-for-3). Keller scored four runs and Rosevear drove in four.

Rosevear is the first Lion with a multi-homer game since Tristan Welch, April 30, at Northwestern State.

Keller and Rosevear have both homered in back-to-back games. It is the second time this season for Keller as he was the last Lion to accomplish the feat, smacking home runs, May 8, against HBU and, May 10, at No. 9-ranked LSU.

Four of Rosevear’s seven career home runs have been in a Southland Tournament game while Keller now has three in tournament action.

With a pair of RBIs, Faulkner has 163 in his career. He trails second-place Brent Taylor (1986-89) by one on the program’s all-time list.

Finke regained the conference lead with a pair of stolen bases, giving him 27 this season and 54 in his career. He is now tied with Tommy Ferrand (1994-96) for eighth in program history.

UP NEXT

Southeastern will face No. 7-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (27-27) at 1 p.m. Saturday in another elimination game at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. The winner advances to the championship game against No. 3-seeded New Orleans (30-21) at 6 p.m. If the winner of the day’s first game wins both contests, the “if necessary” game will be played at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Fans in the Hammond area can listen to SLU game broadcasts 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).

All tournament games will air on ESPN+.

TOURNAMENT TICKET & PARKING INFORMATION
All-Tournament booklets are $75 for adults and $40 for youth (ages 3-12) while general admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth (ages 3-12). Students from participating Southland Conference institutions, with a valid 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.

HAMMOND BRACKET SCHEDULE

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Game 1 (1 p.m.) – No. 3 New Orleans 10, No. 6 HBU 3

Game 2 (6 p.m.) – No. 7 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6, No. 2 Southeastern 5

Friday, May 20, 2022

Game 3 (1 p.m.) – No. 2 Southeastern 12, N. 6 HBU 4

Game 4 (6 p.m.) – No. 3 New Orleans 10, No. 7 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 9

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Game 5 (1 p.m.) – No. 2 Southeastern vs. No. 7 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (ESPN+)

Game 6 (6 p.m.) – No. 3 New Orleans vs. Game 5 Winner (ESPN+)

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Game 7* (1 p.m.) – Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (ESPN+)

* IF NECESSARY

LINE SCORE

Southeastern 12, Houston Baptist 4 (May 20, 2022 at Hammond, La.)

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Southeastern ………. 011 120 403  – 12 12  0      (25-28)

Houston Baptist. ….. 000 101 020  –   4 11  2      (18-36)

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Pitchers: Southeastern – Guth, Adam; Dugas, Daniel (8); Potter, Alex (9) and Grizzaffi, Bryce. Houston Baptist – Burch, Jared; Zarella, Tyler (7); Ricker, Chad (7); Spinney, Austin (8); Reitmeyer, Andrew (9) and Edwards, Parker; Ortiz, Kevin.

Win-Guth, Adam (4-1)  Loss-Burch, Jared (1-5)  T-2:51  A-522

HR SLU – Keller, Evan (9); Rosevear, Rhett 2 (6); Faulkner, Preston (14).

HR HBU – Bales, Brennen 2 (4).

T. Zarella faced 3 batters in the 7th.

Guth, A. faced 1 batter in the 8th.

{Courtesy: release from Southeastern}