Southland Tournament: Palmer, No. 6 SFA blank No. 3 Southeastern

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SUGAR LAND, Texas – Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year Alex Palmer scattered three hits Wednesday morning at Constellation Field as No. 6-seeded Stephen F. Austin upset No. 3-seeded Southeastern Louisiana, 5-0, in the opening game of the 2019 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament.

The Lumberjacks (25-31) struck early against Southeastern (30-26) starting pitcher Corey Gaconi, the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year. Left fielder Sean Moore pulled a double inside the third-base line with one out in the second inning. Hitting opposite the defensive shift, Lumberjack designated hitter Jordan Monacy singled through the left side to plate Moore for a 1-0 lead.

Both pitchers settled in over the next couple innings with Gaconi keeping Southeastern within a run until the sixth inning. Jake Georgiades led off the sixth with a solo home run to left field, the second of the season for the Lumberjack first baseman. Moore and Monacy followed with back-to-back singles.

Catcher Jared Huber reached on a fielder’s choice after Gaconi went for the lead runner on his sacrifice bunt. The throw was late, loading the bases without an out. Carson Clowers followed with an RBI single through the left side. Nick Daley dribbled a ball up the third-base line, but Lion third baseman Trey Harrington flipped the ball home in time to catch Monacy at the plate.

The Lumberjacks picked up its final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field, extending their lead to 4-0 and chasing Gaconi from the game. Reliever Bryce Tassin worked out of the jam and tossed 2.1 scoreless innings before yielding to Peyton Lee in the ninth.

SFA added its final run off Lee. After the right-hander issued a one-out walk to Brandon Uhse, Manny Vasquez drove an RBI double to right field. Vasquez was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a triple as Nathan Pilutti picked up his nation-leading 15th outfield assist of the season.

Palmer (7-6) earned the win, tossing his fourth-consecutive complete game. He struck out 10 and did not walk a batter. Gaconi (7-3) suffered the loss, allowing four runs – all earned – in 5.2 innings pitched.

Southeastern falls into the losers’ bracket, facing the loser of the Central Arkansas/Northwestern State matchup in an elimination game Thursday at 9 a.m.

All of Southeastern’s games in the tournament can be heard in the Hammond, Louisiana, area on the flagship station of the Southeastern Sports Radio Network, KSLU 90.9 FM, online at www.LionSports.net/ListenLive and via both the Lions Gameday Experience and TuneIn Radio apps.

Fans can also keep up with all the action through live statistics or by following @SLUathletics on Twitter. Web links to audio, video and stats are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.

Every tournament game will be streamed live on ESPN+, www.ESPN.com/watch and the ESPN app.

TOURNAMENT TICKETS
Tickets for the 2019 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament are on sale through the TDECU Ticket Office at Constellation Field (1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, Texas, 77498), by phone at (281) 240-4487 or online at www.southland.org/baseball.

LIONS GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE APP
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.

DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
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 [email protected] or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

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

LINESCORE
Stephen F. Austin 5, Southeastern 0
———————————————————————-
Stephen F. Austin… 010 003 001 – 5 9 0 (25-31)
Southeastern………. 000 000 000 – 0 3 2 (30-26)
———————————————————————-
Pitchers: Stephen F. Austin – Palmer, Alex and Huber, Jarrod. Southeastern – Gaconi, Corey; Tassin, Bryce (6); Lee, Peyton (9) and Manola, Connor.

Win-Palmer, Alex (7-6) Loss-Gaconi, Corey (7-3) T-2:16
HR SFA – Georgiades, Jake (2).
Weather: Cloudy, 80, Winds SSE 18 mph

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