Kinzeler shuts down Memphis in bounce-back win
HAMMOND, La. – Junior right-hander Will Kinzeler carried a shutout into the seventh inning Saturday and the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team bounced back following a one-run loss in Friday’s series opener for a 6-1 win at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field to even the series against Memphis.
Kinzeler (4-0) tied his career-high, earning his fourth win of the season, and the Lions (12-7) won at home for the first time since Feb. 25 against Samford.
For the second time in as many games, Southeastern scored in the first inning.
Rhett Rosevear led off the inning with a single to left-center field and promptly stole second base. Tyler Finke drew a one-out walk and Shea Thomas was hit by a two-out pitch, loading the bases. TJ Salvaggio forced in Rosevear with the first run, drawing a walk. Clay Cook followed with an infield single, plating Finke for a 2-0 lead.
Memphis (10-9) starting pitcher Dalton Fowler settled in after struggling with his control in the first, going toe-to-toe with Kinzeler over the next several innings.
SLU finally got to Fowler in the fifth, expanding its lead and chasing the big left-hander from the game.
Rosevear once again led off with a single and stole second. He advanced to third on a groundout. Finke was hit by a pitch and then stole second, putting a pair of runners in scoring position. Jake Killingsworth, the reigning Southland Conference Hitter of the Week, grounded the ball up the middle. The shortstop cut the ball off and fired home, but Rosevear slid around the tag.
With the Lions having chased Fowler from the game, Thomas greeted reliever Daniel Casto with a two-run single up the middle to stake SLU and Kinzeler to a 5-0 lead.
Southeastern’s bats tacked on one more in the sixth with Rosevear helping to create another run. After getting hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season, he scored from first on a two-out double to left by Finke.
Memphis finally broke through against Kinzeler in the seventh. Having allowed just one hit through the first six, the Tigers’ cleanup hitter, Brayland Skinner, led off the seventh with a double to left. Third baseman Logan Kohler followed with a single to center, leading to a play at the plate. Finke appeared to nail the runner at the plate, but the call was overturned because of obstruction.
Kinzeler retired the next three hitters before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Over the course of seven innings, he allowed one run on three hits while walking three batters and striking out four. Lakin Polk worked a pair of scoreless innings to close out the game.
Cook (2-for-4), Rosevear (2-for-4) and Thomas (2-for-3) each turned in multiple hits while Rosevear scored three runs. Finke scored twice.
The series wraps up at 1 p.m. Sunday. Free general admission tickets are available for active military members, as well as veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, by presenting a valid service ID at the ticket booth.
Sunday’s pitching matchup features SLU junior right-hander Andrew Landry (2-1, 3.68) and Tiger freshman right-hander Seth Garner (0-2, 5.68). The game will be carried on ESPN+. Live stats are available online at www.LionSports.net and in the Lions Gameday Experience app. Fans can also receive in-game updates on Twitter by following the @LionUpBaseball account.
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