Lions split doubleheader with UCA as Riser earns 200th career win

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HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana scrapped its way to a doubleheader split Saturday with Southland Conference-foe Central Arkansas at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, dropping the first game, 3-2, and then turning around and defeating the Bears, 3-2, in 11 innings to give head coach Matt Riser his 200th career victory.

The nightcap was the second extra-inning affair of the three-game series for the Lions (6-10, 1-2 Southland), as Central Arkansas (6-10, 2-1 Southland) claimed Friday’s game, 3-1, in 12 innings.

Riser ranks fourth all-time in program history when it comes to on-field coaching wins behind Greg Marten (348), Jay Artigues (276) and the legendary Pat Kenelly (230).

Southeastern, which has no midweek contests coming up, returns to action March 15-17 with a three-game, nonconference series at Oklahoma State.

GAME ONE – Central Arkansas 3, Southeastern 2
In what looked to be a rehash of the series opener, both starting pitchers were locked in early.

Neither team had a runner reach base until Lion second baseman Brennan Breaud knocked a one-out single up the middle in the fourth inning off Central Arkansas starter Noah Cameron. After designated hitter Preston Faulkner worked a walk, Cameron induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Kyle Schimpf to end the inning.

In the fifth, the Bears broke up Carlisle Koestler’s bid for a perfect game with a leadoff single. Koestler promptly got a double-play ball off the bat of Central Arkansas left fielder Alonso Bibiano, but the next two hitters followed with a double and two-run home run to left for the first runs of the game.

After a double and a single put runners on the corners with one out in the sixth, the Bears padded their lead on a sacrifice fly.

Cameron (1-0), who earned the win, continued to cruise until the seventh. After striking out Breaud to open the inning, the freshman left-hander surrendered back-to-back solo home runs to Faulkner and Schimpf.

They were the first back-to-back homers hit by Southeastern since Derrick Mount and Drew Avans accomplished the feat May 26, 2017, against New Orleans at the Southland Conference Tournament in Sugar Land, Texas.

Reliever Gavin Stone worked the final two innings to earn his first save of the season. Koestler (2-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs in six innings of work.

GAME TWO – Southeastern 3, Central Arkansas 2 (11 innings)
The weekend trend continued in the nightcap, although both teams scratched across an early run.

Bears’ right fielder Kolby Johnson singled to open up the game. After Tyler Smith drew a walk, Johnson was forced at third base on a fielder’s choice. Second baseman Jay Anderson followed with double down the right-field line to score Johnson and give Central Arkansas a 1-0 lead in the first.

Following the run-scoring double, Lion starting pitcher Will Warren settled in by striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the first, Breaud drew a one-out walk and then advanced to third on Faulkner’s single up the middle. Schimpf followed with an RBI single to right, plating Breaud with the tying run.

Central Arkansas reliever Brad Verel, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam he inherited in the first, matched Warren toe-for-toe over the next six innings.

The Bears chased Warren from the game with an RBI single in the sixth, taking a 2-1 lead. Southeastern got Verel out of the game in the seventh, opting to send up Eli Johnson, a right-handed pinch-hitter to face the southpaw.

Inheriting a runner at first and one out, reliever Tanner Wiley retired Johnson but not before Trey Harrington swiped second base. Harrington would score to tie the game when Cody Grosse, the next batter, lofted a double over the head of Bibiano in left.

Jared Biddy worked four scoreless innings in relief for the Lions but exited in the 10th after walking a pair of batters. Freshman right-hander Grant Upton walked the only batter he faced, loading the bases, before handing the ball over to Bryce Tassin.

The redshirt junior from Walker, Louisiana, got a comebacker to the mound to escape the jam and then fanned three in the 11th, working around a two-out single.

With one out in the bottom of the inning, Kyle Schimpf picked up his third hit of the game – a single through the right side. Pinch runner Cade Pipoly advanced to second when reliever Ty Callahan issued a walk to Southeastern center fielder Nick Ray and then on to third when new Bear pitcher Conner Williams issued a walk to Connor Manola, loading the bases.

Harrington ended the day, lining a bases-loaded single to right that allowed Pipoly to trot home with the winning run.

Tassin (1-0) earned the win, working 1.1 scoreless innings to close out the game. Callahan (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing one run in 3.1 innings of work.

INSIDE SOUTHEASTERN BASEBALL WITH MATT RISER
A weekly 60-minute radio show, Inside Southeastern Baseball with Matt Riser airs Mondays at noon, during the season, from Blackened Brew in downtown Hammond.

Riser joins host Allen Waddell at lunchtime to discuss the latest in Southeastern baseball and will be joined each week by select Lion players. Blackened Brew is located at 112 W. Thomas St.

The show airs on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network, KSLU 90.9 FM, online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Lions Gameday Experience and TuneIn Radio apps. A live video stream of the show is also available via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/sluathletics.

LIONS GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE APP
The new 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.

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 protected] or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

LINESCORES
Central Arkansas 3, Southeastern 2 (Game 1)
———————————————————————————
Central Arkansas…. 000 021 000 – 3 7 0 (6-9, 2-0 SLC)
Southeastern………. 000 000 200 – 2 3 1 (5-10, 0-2 SLC)
———————————————————————————
Pitchers: Central Arkansas – Cameron, Noah; Stone, Gavin (8) and Sagdahl, Nathaniel. Southeastern – Koestler, Carlisle; Knopp, Mason (7) and Manola, Connor.

Win-Cameron (1-0) Save-Stone (1) Loss-Koestler (2-1) T-1:56 A-1215
HR UCA – Brasher, Christian (1).
HR SLU – Faulkner, Preston (2); Schimpf, Kyle (1).
Weather: Mostly Cloudy 76, S 14 mph

Southeastern 3, Central Arkansas 2 (Game 2)
————————————————————————————-
Central Arkansas…. 100 001 000 00 – 2 8 2 (6-10, 2-1 SLC)
Southeastern……….. 100 000 100 01 – 3 8 0 (6-10, 1-2 SLC)
————————————————————————————-
Pitchers: Central Arkansas – Moyer, Mark; Verel, Brad (1); Wiley, Tanner (7); Callahan, Ty (8); Williams, Conner(11) and Sagdahl, Nathaniel. Southeastern – Warren, Will; Biddy, Jared (6); Upton, Grant (10); Tassin, Bryce (10) and Manola, Connor.

Win-Tassin (1-0) Loss-Callahan (0-3) T-3:25 A-1219
Weather: Mostly Cloudy 78, S 18 mph

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