Southeastern splits doubleheader with McNeese

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HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana split a Southland Conference doubleheader with McNeese, dropping the opening game, 5-0, in seven innings and winning the nightcap, 6-3, Friday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

The Lions (17-10, 10-5 Southland) maintain a share of first place in the Southland standings and are currently tied with Nicholls based on winning percentage, sitting one game in front of New Orleans and 1.5 games in front of McNeese (14-12, 8-6 Southland).

With the win in the second game, Southeastern head coach Matt Riser earned the 250th coaching victory of his career. He currently ranks third all-time in program history behind Greg Marten (348) and Jay Artigues (276).

The series concludes Saturday with a single game at 1 p.m. The Lions plan to start freshman right-hander Brennan Stuprich (1-1, 3.60) against McNeese sophomore right-hander Christian Vega (0-2, 5.33) in the finale.

Saturday’s game can be heard in the Hammond area on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network – KSLU 90.9 FM – in addition to online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and via both the Lions Gameday Experience and TuneIn Radio apps. All remaining Lion home baseball games are also slated for broadcast on ESPN+.

Other options to follow the action this weekend include live statistics or the @LionUpBaseball Twitter account. Links to audio, video and stats are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.

GAME ONE – McNeese 5, Southeastern 0 (7 innings)
Left-handers Trey Shaffer for Southeastern and Will Dion for McNeese went toe-to-toe for the first four innings.

The Cowboys broke through for a run off Shaffer (1-2) in the fifth, breaking up the pitcher’s duel and chasing Shaffer from the game. McNeese picked up two additional runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth off reliever Kyle Bartley.

Meanwhile Dion (3-3) scattered three hits and one walk, tossing a complete game. He struck out nine on the way to earning the win. Shaffer was tagged with the loss, allowing one run in 4.1 innings of work. He surrendered two hits and two walks, striking out seven batters.

GAME TWO – Southeastern 6, McNeese 3
Eli Johnson drove a two-out double down the right-field line in the second inning, plating Nick Ray and Christian Garcia with a pair of runs to give the Lions their first lead of the series.

Will Warren (5-1) made the lead hold up over the next six innings, handing a lead over to the bullpen in the seventh.

After the Cowboys picked up a run in the fourth, Southeastern got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Gaby Cruz drove in Ray with a two-out double to right-center field.

Going up 4-1 in the sixth, Jacob Burke doubled and came around to score on Ray’s RBI single to left-center field.

The first three batters in the seventh reached off Warren with Riser calling on reliever Cole Hoskins to work out of the bases-loaded, no-out jam. Hoskins worked through some trouble, walking in a pair of runners, but got out of the inning with the lead intact.

Southeastern added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth and Hoskins closed out the game to earn his fourth save of the season with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings of work.

Warren earned the win, tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts. He allowed three runs – one earned – in six innings of work, surrendering five hits and one walk. McNeese starter Jonathan Ellison (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs – two earned – in 5.2 innings of work.

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