Southeastern hosts Sam Houston State in first-place Southland showdown

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Sam Houston State (27-19, 16-8 Southland) at Southeastern Louisiana (27-21, 16-8 Southland)
Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field (Hammond, Louisiana)

Friday, May 10 – 6 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – RHP Hayden Wesneski (7-2, 3.16) vs.
SLU – RHP Corey Gaconi (6-2, 2.07)

Saturday, May 11 – 2 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – LHP Seth Ballew (2-4, 7.40) vs.
SLU – RHP Mason Knopp (6-2, 3.91)

Sunday, May 12 – 1 p.m. (CT)
SHSU – LHP Dominic Robinson (2-0, 3.65) vs.
SLU – TBA (0-0, 0.00)

• KSLU, 90.9 FM
• Pregame show starts 15 minutes before first pitch
• – live audio, stats and video
• Lions Gameday Experience app, TuneIn Radio app

Lions Host Sam Houston State in First-Place Southland Showdown

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana wraps up its home schedule this weekend, hosting Southland Conference foe Sam Houston State in a first-place showdown at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. Games are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Both Southeastern (27-21, 16-8 Southland) and the Bearkats (27-19, 16-8 Southland) enter the weekend tied for first place atop the conference standings, just one game in front of Incarnate Word (32-16, 15-9 Southland) and two games ahead of Central Arkansas (24-23, 14-10).

Numerous promotions are planned for Sunday’s series finale. The Southeastern Athletic Ticket Office is running a Mother’s Day ticket special, offering a pair of general admission tickets for $12.

It is also the final Local Hero Appreciation Day of the season. Every Sunday home game throughout the 2019 season, the Lions give thanks to first responders, military personnel and service members with a discounted ticket available at the ticket booth (must have a valid service ID).

Approximately 30 minutes before the first pitch, Southeastern will honor the largest senior class in the nation as part of its annual Senior Day celebration.

The game is also a Cane’s Challenge contest. If Southeastern scores five or more runs Sunday versus the Bearkats, fans can redeem their game ticket or student coupon at their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers to receive a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value.

All three games in the series can be heard in the Hammond area on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network, KSLU 90.9 FM, online at and via both the Lions Gameday Experience and TuneIn Radio apps.

Fans can also keep up with all the action through streaming video ($), live statistics or by following @SLUathletics on Twitter. Web links to audio and video broadcasts, stats, promotions and tickets are available on the baseball schedule page at

Southeastern, which claimed a pair of games in a conference series last weekend at Lamar, dropped its last nonconference game of the season Tuesday at home, 14-4, to South Alabama.

The Lions are hitting .253 collectively, with 69 doubles, 14 triples, 35 home runs and 77 stolen bases. Southeastern’s pitching staff has worked to a combined 4.57 ERA, striking out 415 batters in 435 innings. Opponents are hitting .259 off Lion pitching.

Kyle Schimpf (.297), Preston Faulkner (.291), Nathan Pilutti (.287) and Cody Grosse (.281) key Southeastern’s approach at the plate. Faulkner leads the team with eight home runs and is second in the Southland with 16 doubles. Schimpf’s 42 RBIs rank fourth in the conference. Grosse is second in the Southland with 23 stolen bases.

Corey Gaconi (6-2, 2.07), a senior right-hander from Metairie, Louisiana, draws the starting nod for the Lions in the opener, opposing Sam Houston State junior right-hander Hayden Wesneski (7-2, 3.16). Gaconi enters the opener tied for 10th in career wins (20) with Wade Miley (2006-08), Wayne Silva (1973-76) and Richard Simon (1970-73). He also ranks seventh in program history with 280 innings pitched in his career and eighth with 40 career starts.

Saturday, Southeastern senior right-hander Mason Knopp (6-1, 3.91) will oppose Bearkat senior left-hander Seth Ballew (2-4, 7.40) in the middle game of the series. The Lions have not announced a starting pitcher to oppose Sam Houston State junior southpaw Dominic Robinson (2-0, 3.65) in Sunday’s series finale.

Jordan Cannon (.403), Caleb Cowser (.369) and Clayton Harp (.326) lead eight Bearkat regulars hitting over .300 this season. Jack Rogers leads the Southland with 17 doubles and Hunter Hearn’s nine home runs are tops on the squad. Cowser ranks third in the conference with 46 RBIs. Cannon leads the team with 13 stolen bases.

The Bearkats rank second in the conference with a .304 team batting average to go along with 80 doubles, 15 triples, 42 home runs and 51 stolen bases. Sam Houston State pitchers have combined for a 5.28 ERA, striking out 361 batters in 402 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .284 off Bearkat pitching.

Southeastern concludes the regular season in San Antonio, Texas, with another key conference series next weekend at Incarnate Word. Following a trip Monday to Tucson, Arizona, to face the Arizona Wildcats, Sam Houston State returns home to host Northwestern State in their final bit of Southland action.

Single-game tickets can be purchased online at or by contacting the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. The ticket booth at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens exactly one hour before first pitch.

General Admission tickets for Lion home games are $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). Southeastern students are admitted free with a valid university ID card.

Southeastern Athletics has instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of the 2018 fall semester. The policy mirrors safety precautions taken upon entrance to professional and collegiate sporting venues throughout the country. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit

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.

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 or (985) 549-5091 or visiting

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

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