Shea Thomas' walk off single in the 10th propels Southeastern past UNO in Southland Bracket Championship
HAMMOND, La. – Shea Thomas’ walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted No. 2 Southeastern to a 4-3 win over No. 3 New Orleans on Sunday afternoon to send the Lions through to the 2022 Southland Baseball Tournament Championship Series.
The Lions, who put a runner in scoring position in every inning, struggled to find a big hit all afternoon with just one hit in their first 17 at bats with runners in scoring position. Despite just being the second hit in that scenario, Thomas’ base knock to the right-field corner was all that mattered in the box score, allowing Preston Faulkner to touch home for the game’s final run.
Gage Trahan (4-3) limited the Privateers to just one hit over the final two innings to earn the win, and Jack Williams (7-2) suffered the loss despite coming up with some big moments in the final 2.2 innings.
Back at the ballpark just 13 hours after the final out of last night’s showdown, Jeissy de la Cruz provided a jolt of energy to the UNO dugout with a two-run blast to get the scoring underway in the second inning. However, the Privateers were only able to muster up one run the rest of the game on a run-scoring groundout in the fourth inning.
Southeastern’s only other hit with a runner in scoring position came in the bottom of the second, when the Lions (27-28) cut the deficit in half courtesy of a Christian Garcia RBI single.
Held without a run in three-straight innings for the first time of the tournament, the Lions finally got back in the scoresheet in the home half of the sixth on a solo blast from Connor Manola.
SLU took advantage of a Privateer error to get the tying run in the seventh as Tyler Finke scored from third after Useche’s throw down to second went into center field.
The Lions added to their laundry list of tournament records with seven stolen bases on Sunday, breaking the conference tournament single-game record and giving them a final tally of 19. Evan Keller also tied for the tournament-best mark with six bags swiped, including two in the loss.
With the win, Southeastern will face No. 1 McNeese in the 2022 Southland Baseball Tournament Championship Series May 26-28 in Lake Charles, La.