SLU eliminated from NCAA Auburn Regional by UCLA, 16-2
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 4 seed Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team dropped a 16-2 decision to second-seeded UCLA in an elimination game in the NCAA Auburn Regional Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park.
Southeastern (30-31) lost for the first time in seven elimination games this postseason, as the Southland Conference Tournament champions made its sixth regional appearance as a Division I program. UCLA (39-23) survived and advanced to face the loser of Saturday’s winner’s bracket between Auburn and Florida State in another elimination game Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Lions could not contend with a Bruin lineup that finished with 19 hits. Five Bruin hitters combined to hold SLU to three hits. Evan Keller and TJ Salvaggio drove in the lone runs for Southeastern.
UCLA took the early lead in the top of the first inning off Lion sophomore starter Andrew Landry (3-6). Doubles by Cody Schrier and Ethan Gourson plated the first run, then two more came in on an SLU error to put the Lions behind, 3-0.
Southeastern stranded a pair in its half of the first, but got on the board without the benefit of a hit in the second. A walk, an error and an HBP loaded the bases for the Lions, then Keller drew a walk to force in a run and cut the Bruin lead to 3-1.
UCLA answered in the top of the third inning. RBI singles by Darius Perry and Schrier highlighted a four-run frame that stretched the Bruin lead to 7-1. A two-run single by Jake Palmer increased the UCLA advantage to 9-1 in the top of the fifth inning.
Southeastern loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Bryce Grizzaffi and Keller drew consecutive walks to chase UCLA starter Ethan Flanagan. Jake Saum (4-0) came in and promptly plunked Rhett Rosevear, which was his single-season Division I-tying record 37th hit by pitch of the season.
However, Saum retired Preston Faulkner and then forced Shea Thomas to line into a double play to get out of the jam unscathed. UCLA made Southeastern pay for the wasted opportunity, tacking on three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to run its lead to 12-1.
UCLA scratched across three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to increase the lead to 15-1. A solo home run by Gourson provided the Bruins with a 16-1 advantage after the Bruins’ half of the eighth.
Salvaggio lessened the final margin with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, but UCLA reliever Nate Leibold closed out the game without SLU getting any closer.
The 2022 season of Inside Southeastern Baseball with Matt Riser will conclude Monday at noon at Pour House Pizza and Beer Garden. The show can be heard online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive.
UCLA – 304 023 310 – 16 19 2 (39-23)
SLU – 010 000 001 – 2 3 1 (30-31)
Ethan Flanagan, Jake Saum (5), Luke Jewett (6), Daniel Colwell (7), Nate Leibold (9) and Darius Perry, Tommy Beres (7). Andrew Landry, Hayden Robb (3), Dalton Aspholm (5), Hunter O’Toole (6), Brock Batty (8), Gage Trahan (9) and Bryce Grizzaffi, Connor Manola (7).
W – Saum (4-0). L – Landry (3-6). HR – UCLA: Carson Yates (7), Ethan Gourson (4). 2B – UCLA: Cody Schrier 2 (20), Ethan Gourson (23); SLU: Tyler Finke (9). T – 3:44. A – 3,218.
2022 NCAA Auburn Regional | June 3-6, 2022 | Plainsman Park | Auburn, Ala.
Friday, June 3
Game 1 – No. 3 Florida State 5, No. 2 UCLA 3
Game 2 – No. 1 Auburn 19, No. 4 Southeastern 7
Saturday, June 4
Game 3 – UCLA 16, Southeastern 2 (SLU eliminated)
Game 4 – Florida State vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 5
Game 5 – UCLA vs. Game 4 Loser, 1 p.m.
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, 6 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Game 7 – Game 5 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner (Necessary if Game 5 Winner wins Game 6), 6 p.m.
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