Southeastern baseball sweeps third Southland series with series sweep of SFA
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana swept a Southland Conference doubleheader from Stephen F. Austin, 9-6 in eight innings and 5-3 in seven innings, Sunday at Jaycees Field to maintain its hold on first place in the Southland Conference standings.
The Lions (24-12, 17-7 SLC) sit two games up on both Sam Houston (19-16, 15-9 SLC) as well as upcoming opponent New Orleans (20-16, 15-9 SLC). SFA (12-20, 9-11 SLC) falls into a tie for ninth with Lamar (17-13, 9-11 SLC), six games back.
GAME ONE – Southeastern 9, SFA 6 (8 innings)
Both teams stranded a multitude of runners over the first three innings before Southeastern broke the scoreless tie in the fourth.
Jacob Burke led off the fourth with a double into the left-center field gap. One out later the Lions strung together four consecutive singles by Champ Artigues (RBI), Eli Johnson (RBI), Rhett Rosevear and Evan Keller (RBI) to generate three runs.
Preston Faulkner led off the fifth with a solo home run to left field, pushing the lead to 4-0. It was his team-leading fifth homer of the season.
In the bottom of the inning, the Lumberjacks cut into the lead with three runs of their own.
The Lions responded immediately. Eli Johnson led off the sixth with a solo homer, his second of the season, giving Southeastern a 5-3 lead. The next batter, Rhett Rosevear, was hit by a pitch. Breaking on the pitch, he went first-to-third on a groundout and then scored on Tyler Finke's sacrifice fly to center.
In a game scheduled to go seven innings, Southeastern entered the bottom of the seventh with a 6-3 lead. The Lumberjacks scored three off a pair of Lion relievers to tie the game and force extra innings.
Southeastern wasted little time in regaining the lead. Rosevear drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Finke worked a one-out walk and then stole second base, forcing SFA to intentionally walk Christian Garcia to load the bases. Faulkner followed with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Rosevear with the go-ahead run. Joe Delaney drew a walk and the catcher Gaby Cruz pulled a bases-loaded single through the left side, driving in two.
Kyle Flettrich worked a perfect eighth inning to earn his second save of the season. Trey Harrington (1-0) earned the win in relief, getting the final out of the seventh. SFA reliever Tod Gauthe (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs – all earned – in one inning pitched.
Johnson (2-for-4), Keller (2-for-4) and Rosevear (2-for-2) picked up a pair of hits each with Rosevear reaching base in all four trips to the plate.
GAME TWO – Southeastern 5, SFA 3 (7 innings)
The Lions struck early, picking up three runs in the second inning.
Artigues laced a one-out single to left and Johnson worked a walk. Rosevear pulled an RBI single through the right side and Bryce Grizzaffi followed with an RBI double to left. Finked drove in another run with a two-out infield single.
Grizzaffi singled and came around to score another run in the fourth.
Southeastern extended its lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Burke and Artigues were hit by pitches to open up the inning, chasing SFA starter Joseph Sgambelluri (2-2) from the game. Grizzaffi ripped a two-out single to left, scoring Burke.
The Lumberjacks reached Brennan Stuprich (4-1) for an unearned run in the sixth, snapping his scoreless streak at 14.1 innings. SFA threatened to tie up the game in the seventh, picking up a pair of runs.
Stuprich earned the win, allowing three runs – one earned – in a complete-game effort. He scattered eight hits and three walks, striking out five. Sgambelluri suffered the loss, allowing all five Lion runs in four innings pitched.
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