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HAMMOND, La. – No. 3 New Orleans plated three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to break open a one-run contest and claim a 10-3 win over No. 6 HBU Thursday afternoon in the first game of the Hammond Bracket of the 2022 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament.

Seven of the Privateers’ (29-21) 10 runs came via the long ball, courtesy of catcher Miguel Useche’s grand-slam homer in the bottom of the third and second baseman Amani Larry’s three-run dinger in the bottom of the eighth.

Tyler LeBlanc moved to 7-1 on the season, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings of work. HBU starter Brennen Bales dropped to 0-2 on the year, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings of work.

The Huskies (18-35) cut a 4-1 deficit to 4-3 in the top of the seventh, with the big hits coming via a RBI double by leftfielder Lane Botkin and solo homer by catcher Kevin Ortiz, his second homer in the last three games.

UNO then stormed back to load the bases in the bottom half, when right fielder Pearce Howard lined a bases-clearing triple into the right-center gap to make it 7-3. Larry then followed in the eighth with his eighth round-tripper of the 2022 campaign to close out the scoring.

Shortstop Kasten Furr led the Privateers with four hits, while designated hitter Brennen Bales led the Huskies with three hits on the afternoon.

Brennen Bales opened the game scoring in the top of the third with a two-out solo homer to left to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long as Privateer catcher Miguel Useche blasted a grand-slam to deep left to put UNO on top 4-1.

New Orleans will face the winner between No. 2 Southeastern and No. 7 Texas A&M Corpus Christi at 6 p.m. CT Friday, while Houston Baptist will get the loser in an elimination game at 1 p.m.

{Courtesy: release from the Southland Conference}