Lions come back after losing against no. 5 ranked LSU

The Lion’s Roar / Megan Ferrando

Junior infielder Carson Crites gained his sixth home run of the season on Wednesday against LSU. Crites scored the game winning run against McNeese Friday, Apr. 22.

The Lion’s Roar / Megan McCormick

The Lions huddle during the SLU vs LSU game on Wednesday, Apr. 20. The Lions struggled through the game, gaining 4 runs. They rallied back together the following weekend for a series against McNeese State, winning 2 of 3 games. 

Lions baseball wrapped up a stretch of 5 consecutive games against ranked opponents with a loss of 4-11 to Louisiana State University on Wednesday, Apr. 20. The non-conference game was hosted in Alex Box Stadium at LSU. It was a difficult night for the Lions.
“It was a rough night,” said head baseball Coach Matt Riser. “There’s not a whole lot of positive they got tonight besides that it’s over. The good thing is that it is over and we can move on and hopefully move forward and learn from it.”
The loss against LSU follows a record of 17-66 losses since 1937 between the schools. The baseball team’s last win against the Tigers was in 2008 with a 6-3 win in Baton Rouge. The Lions came in close last year with an 8-9 loss to the Tigers.
 “We just have to go out and play our game and that’s what we haven’t done a good job of,” said Riser. “We have gone out there very conservative and feeling our way through some things. And honestly when you do that, especially with number 5 team in the country like LSU, you’ll get behind like we did tonight.” 
The Lions recently played UL Lafayette, winning one of three games in the series. They lost to South Alabama. In addition with the loss to LSU, the Lions lost four of the past five games against ranked opponents. 
“In the stretch of the last 5 games with the ranked opponents you have to play good baseball and we haven’t done that,” said Riser. “It’s been awhile since we played some good baseball consistently. We show up a day or two here or there. But we’re really feeling our way through some games trying to see if we belong instead of knowing if we belong.”
According to Riser, the losses can be accredited to the low mentality and confidence currently present on the team.
“The biggest thing is mentality,” said Riser. “I have to convey a different message to them. I have to get the confidence [up]. We do belong on that stage, we match up the same. From the mentality state, we’re getting bullied right now. It’s not pitching or hitting or defense or throwing strikes. It’s simply a mentality thing, which is good and bad. We talked about mentality as something that can get away from you. Or it’s something you can change overnight. So hopefully we’ll take the positive road on that one.”
During the course of the game, LSU won six unearned runs. 
In the third inning, a rain shower caused a two hour, 24 minute delay in game.
Many fans stuck around through the long rain delay to see the Lions gain some runs after the game resumed.
In the fifth inning, the Lions earned one home run from second baseman Carson Crites. The home run was Crites sixth home run of the season.
“They’re just another team,” said Crites. “You have the bigger stands and more people, but I really try not to focus on that and tunnel vision it in. Get the job done. [Riser] just tells us to compete. That’s all we’re trying to do. We were losing really in the later innings. When that happens we just have to find a way to get it done. Stick together as a team. Just got to keep swinging the bat.”
 Many Lion fans and university students drove from Hammond to support their team. 
“I’m a huge Lion fan,” said sophomore kinesiology major Maggie Hinson who took the drive to attend the game. “I came out to the Southeastern LSU game because these guys aren’t just good guys on the field, but off the field too. They’re a great representation of the university. I love to support them.”
Lion fans stayed until the end of the game despite the long rain delay. 
“You don’t really see fans like ours,” said Crites. “They’re the best. As you saw, all our fans stuck around. They just left so that tells you something right there.”
Ladies from the Lion softball team also drove to attend the baseball game after finishing up their win against Southern University on Wednesday night. 
“We were planning on coming last week anyway, but our game from next week got moved to today so we didn’t think we’d be able to make it,” said middle infielder Grace DeLee. “Once we finished ours and we realized they had a rain delay and were only in the third inning, we were like Baton Rouge is only 40 minutes away, we can make it. So we just wanted to come watch. Anytime we’re not playing at the same time or if we finish before them, we’re always at their games.”
After the loss, the Lions headed to Lake Charles to play against McNeese state Friday, Apr. 22 through Sunday, Apr. 24. The Lions won the first two games coming in with an 8-7 win on Friday and a 4-0 win on Saturday. On Sunday, McNeese averted a sweep by taking the lead resulting in a 6-7 loss for the Lions.
Lion fans will continue to support their team with the next home game, which will take place Friday, Apr. 29 at 6 p.m. against Houston Baptist with Super Hero Night at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.