HAMMOND, La. – A three-run home run by Nate Fisbeck was all the offense No. 7 McNeese needed in a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana to close out day two of the Southland Conference Baseball Tournament presented by GeoSurfaces Thursday night at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
With the loss, Southeastern (31-23) will now face No. 2 New Orleans (29-27) in a noon elimination game on Friday. The Privateers staved off elimination with a 14-1 run-rule victory over No. 6 Northwestern State on Thursday.
Southeastern had its chances, but four Cowboy pitchers helped maintain the lead as SLU stranded six batters over the final six frames. Jonathan Ellison (5-3) earned the victory for McNeese (30-28), while Cameron Foster retired the final four Lion batters to earn his fifth save. McNeese awaits the SLU-UNO winner Friday night at 7 p.m.
SLU took the lead off Ellison in the top of the second inning. Bryce Grizzaffi followed up a seeing-eye single by Rhett Rosevear with a two-run home run over the left field fence. The freshman catcher’s third home run of the season staked the Lions to a 2-0 advantage.
McNeese got to Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and Lion starter Brennan Stuprich (6-3) with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning. A single by Kade Morris and a Clayton Rasbeary walk put a pair of Cowboys on the base paths. Fisbeck cleared the bases by powering an 0-2 offering over the right field fence to give McNeese a 3-2 lead it would never relinquish.
Fisbeck’s three-run shot spoiled a strong postseason debut for Stuprich. The Kenner, Louisiana native fanned five and scattered five hits in seven innings of work.
Southeastern mounted a threat in the top of the sixth versus reliever Bryson Hudgens. Preston Faulkner roped a double into the right centerfield gap to lead off the frame, then Rosevear reached two outs later when he was hit by Hudgens. However, a nice play by shortstop Reid Bourque on a hot shot off the bat of Grizzaffi allowed him to force Rosevear at second and get out of the frame.
SLU again put the go-ahead run on base in the top of the seventh inning, as Hudgens hit Eli Johnson and Evan Keller to put a pair of runners on. But, Brad Kincaid came in and forced Tyler Finke to hit into an inning-ending double play.
In the Lion eighth, Jacob Burke drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a deep fly out by Christian Garcia. But he was left stranded 90 feet away, as Foster struck out Rosevear to end the frame, before pitching a perfect ninth
The SLU-UNO game will be televised on ESPN+ and can be heard in the Hammond area 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 both the Lions Gameday Experience and TuneIn Radio apps.
Other options to follow the Lions during the tournament include live statistics or the @LionUpBaseball Twitter account. Links to audio, video and stats are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament Presented by GeoSurfaces
Wednesday, May 26
Game 1 – No. 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, No. 5 Sam Houston 3
Game 2 – No. 1 Abilene Christian 7. No. 8 Lamar 1
Game 3 – No. 7 McNeese 12, No. 2 New Orleans 0 (8 innings)
Game 4 – No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana 2, No. 6 Northwestern State 1
Thursday, May 27
Game 5 – Sam Houston 7, Lamar 4 (LU eliminated)
Game 6 – New Orleans 14, Northwestern State 1 (7 innings) (NSU eliminated)
Game 7 – Abilene Christian 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3
Game 8 – McNeese 3, Southeastern Louisiana 2
Friday, May 28
Game 9 – Sam Houston vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 9 a.m.
Game 10 – New Orleans vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 12 p.m.
Game 11 – Abilene Christian vs. Winner Game 9, 4 p.m.
Game 12 – McNeese vs. Winner 10, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 29
Game 13 – Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11 (Only necessary if Game 9 winner wins Game 11)
Game 14 – Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12 (Only necessary if Game 10 winner wins Game 12)
Game 15 – Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 6 p.m.
If only one of the two early games is necessary on Saturday, it will be played at 1 p.m.
TOURNAMENT TICKET INFORMATION
General Admission booklets, allowing admission to every game of the tournament, are $100 for adults and $50 for youths ages 3-12. Students presenting a valid ID from a current Southland Conference institution, and children under the age of three, will be admitted free of charge.
For each day of the baseball tournament, any remaining tickets will be sold for the morning session (first two games) or afternoon session (last two games). The ballpark will be cleared between sessions and re-entry is not allowed.
Session ticket prices are: $21 (box seats, as available), $17 (chairback seats, as available), $13 (general admission adults) and $9 (general admission youth – ages 3-12).
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 implemented mobile ticketing as the primary method for securing tickets during the 2020-21 school year. 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.
Single-day parking during the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, presented by GeoSurfaces, is $5 for most vehicles. An All-Tournament parking pass is available for $20 for standard vehicles and $50 for RVs.
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.
SOCIAL DISTANCING ON GAMEDAYS
Southeastern, which is following state and local health guidelines for outdoor events set forth by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, has returned to 100 percent capacity at all athletic events. Fans are asked to maintain a comfortable distance from others when possible, wear a face-covering over both their nose and mouth, and wash their hands frequently. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout Southeastern’s athletic facilities.
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 email@example.com or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.