In-state rival defeats Lions in series finale

Jonathan Rhodes

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Senior pitcher Domenick Carlini started the game pitching before being taken out for senior Pat Cashman who was then taken out for sophomore Kade Grainer. Coach Riser took responsibility for the many pitching substitutions.

Senior pitcher Domenick Carlini started the game pitching before being taken out for senior Pat Cashman who was then taken out for sophomore Kade Grainer. Coach Riser took responsibility for the many pitching substitutions.   
The Lion's Roar/Jonathan Rhodes

The Lions lost their home game last Sunday in the series finale against UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 4-5. The Lions lost the first game of the series at Lafayette which was their third straight loss before winning big on Saturday against the Cajuns 16-5. Their record is now (26-11, 13-2 SLC).

“We learned how to compete these last few games,” said Head Baseball Coach Matt Riser. “I don’t think we went with the right mindset at their place and we really got dominated. We did a good job responding Saturday and today. Sometimes you lose a tough one; today was a tough loss. We had that one big inning that got away from us. I take full responsibility for it. They competed the right way. I should have trusted our guy more coming out the bullpen to go the distance, but I will not make that mistake again.”   

The Lions and Cajuns have been in-state rivals since Southeastern started its baseball program in 1948. Back then, UL Lafayette was called “the University of Southwestern Louisiana.” Both teams were initially in the Gulf States conference which dissolved in 1971. Even after the disbandment, the two schools face each other every year with the first game of the series typically played in Lafayette and last two in Pat Kenelly Alumni Field. The all-time series record is 47-62 Cajuns.

The first pitch of the game was thrown by Southeastern track & field thrower Alex Young in honor of his many accomplishments this year.

“It was pretty cool, I have never actually done that before,” said Young. “A lot of people were telling me beforehand ‘just spin it man’. I should have. It would have been a little more accurate.”

Freshman shortstop Brennan Breaud started the game with a bunt to put himself on first base. Junior first baseman Jameson Fisher was hit by a pitch on his first at bat, but junior second baseman Carson Crites was able to advance both runners off of a grounder to third. Sophomore left fielder Drew Avans got Breaud and Fisher to home with a single to the right side giving the Lions the lead 2-0.

Crites hit a homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the Lions lead to 3-0. 

At the top of the sixth, the Cajuns went on the attack scoring five runs to take 3-5.

The Lions made it a one run game in the bottom of the seventh when senior outfielder Daniel Midyett was hit by a pitch and Avans sacrificed a hit to left field to get Midyett to home. The Cajun’s pitchers shut down batting for the remainder of the game. Even though the Lions got as many as two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, they still could not get a hit ending the  game 4-5.

“We competed really well close to the end of the game,” said Fisher. “It was a tough game. We knew it was going to be a battle going into it. In the beginning they got five runs and we just could not answer back.”

Sophomore infielder Taylor Schwaner, Avans and Crites all led the Lions with two hits. Two substitutions were made by pitching. Senior Pat Cashman who went in for senior Domenick Carlini. A few innings later the second substitution was sophomore Kade Grainer.

This season has been a successful one for Fisher who leads the nation in batting average and on-base percentage. He also was recently named both the D1Baseball and Perfect Game’s Midseason All-America teams. Fisher is arguably the biggest offensive threat in college baseball.

“All the glory to God for that,” said Fisher. “It was a long road coming back from the injury and it was well worth the wait. I am having a lot of success and hitting the ball really well. I am just trying to do what I can to help the team win.”

The Lions next game is tomorrow against No. 9 ranked LSU in Baton Rouge. This game will be televised by the SEC Network.

“The results is not the key, the key is how we are competing,” said Coach Riser. “And if we compete the same way we have, the last two games that are the most important part of this. I think that is where the consistency will come in. Maybe with our success we kind of got away from playing our game playing as fast as we do. Sometimes when you play lesser opponents you can get away with it, but the stretch we are in right now you do not get away from it.”

To see the Lions’ full schedule, visit lionsports.net.

Sophomore left fielder Drew Avans slides into the third base. He finished the game with two hits and three RBI’s.

Sophomore left fielder Drew Avans slides into the third base. He finished the game with two hits and three RBI’s.  
The Lion's Roar/Megan Ferrando

 

 

 

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