Lions baseball looking ahead to Memphis after a tumultuous week of action


Chase Gispert

Junior second baseman Rhett Rosevear turns a double play during Southeastern’s 8-1 defeat to Southern Miss on Tuesday night at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. (March 14, 2023)

Southeastern pulled off yet another signature win over a ranked SEC foe last weekend, beating #12 Auburn two out of three on the road at Plainsman Park. 

After dropping game one on Friday 7-1, the Lions took both games from Saturday’s doubleheader 8-3 and 8-7. 

Junior designated hitter Jake Killingsworth earned Southland Conference Hitter of the Week for his contributions, batting .471 (8-for-17) in four games last week (three vs. Auburn and one vs. Alabama A&M. 

Three of his eight hits came in the decisive final matchup of the Auburn series, which was a one-run game. The Headland, Alabama native came back to haunt his in-state Bulldogs and Tigers to the tune of five RBIs and three runs scored.

Fifth-year senior center fielder Tyler Finke etched himself into the Southeastern record books on the Plains by swiping his 72nd and 73rd stolen base of his SLU career. 

The Columbus, Indiana native has only needed two full seasons and a chunk of this season to break the long-standing mark of 71 stolen bags held by Melvin Meyers, who played in Hammond from 1985-88.

With the series win, Southeastern became the first Southland Conference school in the last decade to defeat an SEC opponent in a three-game series. 

Head Coach Matt Riser is continuing to lead his squads to wins over SEC schools, as SLU fans will remember the team’s historic win over No. 1 Ole Miss last season at Alumni Field, as well as success in the first of a three-game road series in Fayetteville against No. 3 Arkansas. 

Tuesday night presented different fortunes, however. No. 25 Southern Miss marched into the Lions’ den and cruised to an 8-1 victory, putting a bit of a damper on the jubilation of the Auburn series. 

Starting pitcher Jay Long performed well enough to give the Green and Gold a fighting chance, but the bullpen simply collapsed. The redshirt junior threw 5.0 innings and gave up just two runs. 

Middle relievers Jack Walker and Hunter O’Toole surrendered three runs apiece in just 2.0 combined innings on the mound. The back-to-back three hits from the Golden Eagles in the sixth and seventh innings ultimately sank the Lions. 

Before Southern Miss’ surge, Southeastern only trailed 2-1 after five innings of baseball. 

The Lions also left far too many runners on base (10) in critical moments, spurning any possible offensive spark on the evening. 

“I want to bounce back man. We’ve lost three in a row at the Pat. This is sacred ground. This is home where we have our fan base and our support. We’ve got to play with a little more attitude and initiative in order to defend this place… It’s going to come down to who wants it more, and we’ve got to show a little more resilience Friday night and this weekend,” said a frustrated Coach Riser, sharing his thoughts on the team’s overall performance and outlook heading into the Memphis series this weekend. 

The Tigers come to town for game one of a three-game series starting today at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. 

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on ESPN+ and tickets are only $5 for St. Patrick’s Day.

Come out and support your Lions this weekend; games two and three will be played tomorrow at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. 

Stay tuned to SLU Athletics and The Lion’s Roar for further baseball updates.