Southeastern drops series finale at UIW

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana dropped the Southland Conference series finale to Incarnate Word, 5-3, Sunday at Sullivan Field as a late comeback attempt fell short.

The Lions (12-8, 5-3 Southland) once again fell behind early, as they did through the series, before battling back to take the lead.

UIW (8-5, 5-3 Southland) took advantage of an errant pickoff throw in the second inning, setting up an RBI groundout for the early lead.

Southeastern tied the game in the top of the third and took the lead in the fourth. Nick Ray ripped a one-out double into left field, advancing to third on an errant pickoff throw. He scored the tying run on Evan Keller’s RBI single to left-center field.

With one out in the fourth, Preston Faulkner was hit by a pitch. Gaby Cruz followed with a single through the left side and then Christian Garcia drew a walk to load the bases. Faulkner scored the go-ahead run on Champ Artigues’ sacrifice fly to left.

A hit batter in the sixth set up a two-out RBI double by UIW to tie the score, 2-2, but the Lions immediately answered in the top of the seventh. Tyler Finke led off the inning with a triple to right, scoring on Keller’s RBI single to center field.

Three-straight doubles by UIW to open the eighth spoiled a career-long outing by starting pitcher Brennan Stuprich, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. They tacked on one more in the inning for insurance.

Reliever Steve Hayward (1-3) earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Michael Garza earned his second save of the season, stranding a pair of runners while working a scoreless ninth.

Stuprich (1-1) allowed five runs – four earned – in seven innings of work. The freshman from Kenner, Louisiana was saddled with the loss after scattering seven hits, one walk and hit a pair of batters, striking out five.

Keller (3-for-5) turned in his sixth multi-hit performance of the past two weeks, extending his hitting streak to eight games.

The next episode of Inside Southeastern Baseball with Matt Riser, presented by Blackened Brew, will be broadcast Monday at 12 p.m. from the restaurant in downtown Hammond. Fans can listen to every show on KSLU 90.9 FM, online at and via either the Lions Gameday Experience or TuneIn Radio apps. The one-hour show airs every Monday during the baseball season.

Southeastern wraps up a nine-game road trip this coming weekend, traveling to Beaumont, Texas to take on Lamar in a four-game series. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Saturday and a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

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