No. 2 Southeastern forces decisive Southland title series game on walk-off walk to beat McNeese

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McNeese vs. SLU basebal

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LAKE CHARLES, La. – With their backs against the wall yet again in the 2022 Southland Baseball Tournament, No. 2 Southeastern continued to fight with a 3-2 walk-off victory over No. 1 McNeese on Friday night at Joe Miller Ballpark. The Lions even up the championship series at 1-1 and force a winner-take-all game on Saturday.

The home half of the ninth began with back-to-back singles by Preston Faulkner and Shea Thomas, who advanced 90 feet on a Tyler Finke sacrifice bunt. After Davis Burgin walked the bases loaded, another base-on-balls for Christian Garcia allowed Faulkner to trot home for the winning run.

Southeastern improves to 5-0 in elimination games in its postseason run after winning four-straight to escape the Hammond Bracket and leveling the championship series on Friday.

Daniel Dugas (4-2) held the Cowboys scoreless over the final 3.1 innings to pick up the win, and Brian Shadrick (1-2) went down as the losing pitcher after he was responsible for Faulkner and Thomas reaching in the ninth.

The Lions came up with another display of late-game heroics in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Joe Delaney slid in just under the tag on a sacrifice bunt from Bryce Grizzaffi.

For the second-straight night, McNeese got on the scoreboard first with Josh Leslie swinging on the first pitch with two outs to drive in a pair of runs.

Missed opportunities plagued both squads in the third and fourth innings as McNeese put multiple runners on and Southeastern loaded the bases in both frames. However, neither team was able to come up with a timely hit.

The Lions finally got on the board in the home half of the fifth, when Shea Thomas picked up his 14th RBI of the tournament on a sac fly that allowed Preston Faulkner to score.

In the seventh inning, McNeese’s Burrell Jones buckled down in a high-pressure situation, retiring back-to-back Southeastern batters as the Lions stranded the bases loaded a third time.

The Cowboys and Lions are set for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch in game three on Saturday evening.

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