Burke homer completes wild Southeastern rally past UNO in Southland elimination game

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Lions rally from nine runs down to stay alive

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HAMMOND – It doesn’t get any better than postseason baseball as No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana came back from down nine in the fifth to top No. 2 New Orleans 15-13 on Friday afternoon at the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, presented by GeoSurfaces.

The Lions put up six runs in the top of the ninth inning, capped off by Jacob Burke’s three-run jack to produce the game’s final score.

Gaby Cruz and Evan Keller got the scoring going in the team’s final inning at bat with back-to-back RBI singles, followed by another run coming on a Tyler Finke groundout.

Hunter O’Toole (1-0) and Trey Shaffer (4) each pitched a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout to earn the win and save, respectively. Caleb Seroski (4-4) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs on six hits over three innings out of the bullpen.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead on Burke’s first three-run home run in the opening frame, but SLU’s advantage was once again short lived as Luther Woullard responded with a bases clearing double in the home half of the first. Three batters later, Beau Bratton belted a home run to right to put the Privateers on top.

After Pearce Howard pushed the lead to three with a second-inning sac fly, Blake Way made it a 7-3 advantage in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot over the scoreboard in left. UNO loaded the bases with three-straight singles, leading to Howard blasting the fourth Privateer grand slam in two days to make it 11-3.

The Privateers mirrored their score line from the first two innings, following up a five spot in the fourth with another score in the fifth on Way’s second long ball of the game.

However, SLU was not going to go away quietly, roaring back with a four spot in the top of the sixth, including three-consecutive RBI base-hits, to cut the deficit to five. Rhett Rosevear made it a four-run game in the eighth with a two-run blast, the first of his career.

The Lions earned a rematch with No. 7 McNeese at 8:20 p.m. CT Friday. The Cowboys are unbeaten in the tournament so far.

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 14, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2 (7 innings) (AMCC eliminated)
Game 10 – Southeastern Louisiana 15, New Orleans 13 (UNO eliminated)
Game 11 – Sam Houston 14, Abilene Christian 12
Game 12 – McNeese vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 8:20 p.m.

Saturday, May 29
Game 13 – Sam Houston vs. Abilene Christian, TBD
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 12/14, 6 p.m.
If only one of the two early games is necessary on Saturday, it will be played at 1 p.m.

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.

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