SLU falls in Southland Championship
SUGAR LAND, Texas - Central Arkansas freshman pitcher Connor Gilmore spun a 2-hit gem Saturday in the Southland Conference Tournament championship game as Southeastern Louisiana fell to the Bears, 4-0, at Constellation Field.
Southeastern (36-24) split a pair of games on the tournament's final day, advancing to meet Central Arkansas (39-20) on the strength of a 7-2 win earlier in the day over Lamar (39-20).
"I feel really bad for our kids," coach Jay Artigues said. "They are a great group of kids and fun to coach...They (seniors) are some class kids and they did a great job leading. We have a lot young kids, true freshmen and those seniors did a good job of showing them how to lead."
For the second-consecutive season, the Lions fought their way into the championship game. After defeating Lamar and No. 27-ranked Sam Houston State in its first two games, a decisive Lamar victory forced Southeastern into a play-in rematch the day of the championship game.
"We got back to the championship (game) again, but that makes it hurt even more," Artigues said. "We got the experience of it and we have to keep fighting and break over that hump."
First baseman Jameson Fisher and left fielder Ladd Rhodes represented the Lions on the all-tournament team. Fisher hit .222 with three runs scored, RBI's and hit-by-pitches. Fisher tied Jesse Buratt for the most RBIs by a Lion in the tournament. Rhodes led all Southeastern starters with a .356 average in five games, scoring three runs while also driving in one and picking up one stolen base.
The winner of the Southland tournament is the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament, which begins with regional play, May 31-June 3. The selection show airs Monday at 11 a.m., CDT, on ESPNU.
Southeastern La. 7, Lamar 2
In the Lions' first game of the day, right-hander Sean Kennel (6-3) was up to the task of facing a team that put up double-digit runs the night before.
Kennel and Cardinal pitcher Hunter Perry (0-2) matched each other through five innings as each team scored single runs in both the second and fifth.
Southeastern broke the game open with three runs in the sixth, forcing Lamar to dig into its taxed bullpen, and tacked on two more in the seventh.
Battling uncharacteristic wildness, Kennel worked out of jams by limiting the Cardinals to three hits and getting ground ball after ground ball. The Lion defense turned four double plays in support of the junior from Slidell, La.
"Sean (Kennel) did a great job," Artigues said. "That's what I like about our pitching depth. Even though we were in the loser's bracket, Sean did a great job. He was fresh. It's hard to have a fresh guy at this time at the tournament and we did."
Kennel earned the win and Perry suffered the loss, his second of the tournament to Southeastern.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
LSU senior brings Spanish flair to LSU football broadcasts
Manufactured housing unit fails inspection, locked for days
Volunteer firefighters needed in West Baton Rouge Parish
Vehicle rear-ends school bus on LA 77; driver injured
More than 500 FEMA housing units approved for disaster victims