Arjona pitching gem fuels No. 8 Privateers past HBU, into Southland Championship Game

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Kyle Arjona
(Photo: Erik Williams/Southland Conference)

UNO advances to title game against No. 3 Northwestern State at 6 p.m. CT tonight

SUGAR LAND, Texas – With first pitch coming less than 12 hours after the conclusion last night’s extra-inning contest, the No. 8 Privateers needed no bonus baseball to secure their spot in tonight’s championship game. New Orleans dominated from start to finish in a 6-1 victory over No. 4 Houston Baptist.

Led by a masterful outing from junior Kyle Arjona and a dozen hits scattered throughout eight batters, the Privateers left no doubt in the double-elimination rematch after last night’s loss.

The Privateers scored first at the bottom of the first when a Pearce Howard RBI double deep to right center scored Collin Morrill.

Orynn Veillon was walked on the next at-bat, after which Beau Bratton sent a sac fly to left field, bringing Owen Magee home for a 2-0 lead with one out.

Two innings later, Owen Magee capped a 13-pitch battle with a solo bomb over the left field wall at the bottom of the third.

That was enough to end Cameron Copeland’s day on the mound after giving up five hits and three earned runs in just over two innings of work. He made way for right-hander Brady Batten with no outs and no runners on in the bottom of the second and the Privateers up 3-0. Howard managed to steal second then score on an RBI from Jay Robinson with two outs and the eight seed would take a 4-0 lead into the fourth.

After another quick retiring of the Huskies’ side, UNO continued to pile on the runs with two more at the bottom of the fourth for a 6-0 lead. HBU finally answered atop the fifth with a solo Jake Pulcheon homer to left field on his first swing, making it a 6-1 game with no outs.

Led by a continuing strong outing from Kyle Arjona on the mound, UNO retired the Huskies from the sixth to the eighth to take its five-run lead into the final frame. Arjona tossed eight strikeouts, allowed five hits and one earned run on 104 innings of work. He remained in the game to finish out his complete game and secure the 6-1 win.

Owen Magee was 3-of-5 at the plate for UNO with two runs scored and two RBIs, plus his solo homer.

The Privateers will take on No. 3 Northwestern State tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ in a winner-take-all championship game.

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