Allstate Sugar Bowl Sponsors LSU-UNO Baseball Showdown
NEW ORLEANS (February 21, 2017) – Playing in front of the largest crowd at Maestri Field at First NBC Ballpark since the facility was rebuilt in 2014, the University of New Orleans baseball team claimed a marquee victory for its home field on Tuesday night with an 11-8 victory over No. 2 LSU. The match-up was officially sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
With the victory, the Privateers improve to 4-0 for the first time since the 1999 season. The victory over LSU marks the first for UNO under head coach Blake Dean and the programs first since the 2010 campaign. It is the second time in past four years that the Privateers have upset a top-five program, besting then-ranked fourth Louisiana Lafayette 8-7 on the road on April 8, 2014.
“We are not going to take this win lightly,” head coach Dean said. “They are the top team in the state of Louisiana. That is their identity that is what everyone knows them as. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy we beat LSU. That place holds a special place in my heart.”
Trailing 6-1 midway through the game, the Privateers erupted for six runs in the fifth inning to take the lead against No. 2 LSU (3-1). Senior infielder Aaron Palmer started the scoring spree, bringing fellow senior infielder Samuel Capielano home after reaching third base with a triple just before Palmer’s at bat. UNO knotted up the score with four doubles over the ensuing six at bats with deep hits from junior outfielder Tristan Clarke, senior outfielder Hezekiah Randolph, sophomore Orynn Veillon and junior infielder Owen Magee. The two at bats not going extra bases in the span resulted in walks.
The Privateers added four insurance runs the following frame, with Clarke belting his first home run of the season. LSU clawed into the deficit with runs in the eighth and ninth, but the Privateers were able to end the contest with a double play.
Veillon paced the Privateers offense with three hits and two RBI, leading five Privateers with multiple hits. Magee posted a game-high four RBI while Clarke blasted UNO’s lone home run. In total, six different Privateers combined for seven extra base hits, while eight of the nine starters got a hit in the victory.
On the mound for the Privateers, junior right handed pitcher William Griffin let up a home run, but recovered for four scoreless innings to get his first victory wearing the royal blue and white. Freshman Reeves Martin got the start for the Privateers, allowing four runs off four hits in three innings of work. Junior left handed pitcher Connor Kaucic and senior right handed pitcher Jarred Taylor both logged one inning and allowed one run to score.
Caleb Gilbert started for the LSU, allowing one run off four hits in four innings with five strikeouts. Collin Strall got the loss for the Tigers after surrendering two runs off three hits in the fifth inning.
Offensively, Kramer Robertson went 3-5 at the plate with a solo home run.
“Yes this is a great win for our program, and we are going to celebrate this victory until midnight.” Dean concluded. “But we have a game tomorrow that we need to be prepared for.”