Morrill’s walk-off homer in 11th caps UNO’s rally past Sam Houston State

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NEW ORLEANS – Collin Morrill capped off a four-hit afternoon with his third home run of the season to give the University of New Orleans (13-9, 3-5 Southland) a 6-4 victory in 11 innings over #RV Sam Houston State University (14-6, 6-2 Southland) in a conference matchup Saturday at Maestri Field.

Morrill finished 4-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored, none bigger than the two-run blast to end the ballgame. It was a dramatic ending for UNO with the prior play being overturned, putting the winning run on first for the Privateers. However, Morrill’s long ball completed the Privateer comeback as UNO trailed by as much as three.

Salo Iza went 3-for-5 from the two-hole, Luther Woullard was 2-for-5 with two RBI and Darren Willis finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Chris Turpin got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the opening frame, inducing a popout and flyout to end the top half of the first unscathed.

Turpin looked determined to strand three more runners in the second, but an 11-pitch battle with Colton Cowser went to the Bearkats as the three-run double gave Sam Houston State a 3-0 lead.

The Privateers threatened in the second with a single by Gaige Howard and double by Morrill to put runners in scoring position. With two outs, Willis ripped a double that narrowly missed the yellow on the top of the wall to bring home two and cut SHSU’s lead to one.

The Bearkats went to the bullpen early and in the fourth, Morrill doubled to lead off the frame and Willis drew a walk to force another pitching change.

Dominic Robinson entered the game and a wild pitch moved runners into scoring position. Robinson was able to strand the tying run at third to preserve the Bearkats’ lead to one through four innings.

New Orleans got to Robinson in the fifth to knot the game at 3-3 following a Pearce Howard double and Woullard RBI single.

Jorge Tejeda showed off his arm to get the Bearkat runner out at second in the sixth and seventh.

Two wild pitches allowed Sam Houston State to regain the lead in the eighth 4-3. John Barr limited the damage there on a beautifully-turned double play by Willis.

Mathew Oset threw a scoreless ninth.

The Privateers did not wait to erase their deficit with Iza, and Pearce Howard went back-to-back to put runners at the corners with no outs. Woullard drove home Iza, forcing the Bearkats to intentionally walk the bases loaded.

Sam Houston State was very unconventional with five infielders with no outs in the inning as the left fielder came in to play up the middle.

Pinch hitting for Tejeda, Robert Fabelo drove the ball to center field, but the Privateers tripped, and Nick Mikolajchak held UNO to the one ninth-inning run to give the Maestri Field crowd free baseball.

Reeves Martin entered the game and was lights out with four punchouts in 2.0 frames. The right-hander needed just 27 pitches and improved to 3-0 with the win. Mikolajchak (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs – two earned – in 3.1 innings.

Out for his fourth inning of work, Mikolajchak got Gaige Howard to ground out to the left side on what was initially ruled an out at first. However, the umpires met and reversed the call and the ruling was an error on the wide throw by Diego Davila. One pitch later, the UNO bench cleared celebration style as Morrill cleared the fence to give UNO the 6-4 win.

The Privateers and Bearkats face off in the rubber game of their Southland series tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Game Notes:
Live Stats:;category=batting

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