Lions baseball returns to winning form

Senior outfielder Jacob Seward running for one of his two runs against McNeese State last weekend. The Lions failed to sweep the Cowboys after losing the second game of the series 4-1,  but quickly bounced back to win the final game of the series in a nail biting 5-4 victory.
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion’s Roar

The Lions baseball team looked like their old selves after defeating UL Lafayette 5-4, 15-3 and winning the first and last game of the series against the second best team in the Southland Conference McNeese State 10-2, 1-4 and 5-4 on Super Lion Saturday. Their record is now 18-10 overall and 7-5 in the conference.

Coming off a five game losing streak, the Lions were motivated to correct the mistakes they made two weeks ago and get back to playing Lions style of baseball.

“I actually think the LSU loss was a big part of the reason why we got swept,” said Head Coach Matt Riser. “I think that the ULL win this past week was a big part of the reason why we got back on track. We did a good job of identifying what the mistake was. When you get in adversity, you got to identify the problem. We talked about it even that night that we got swept in Houston, that we have to find one solution and don’t make a thousand excuses and just find the solution. I think a big part of that was our attention to detail. The focus level of practice and at warm-ups have been much better, and it is showing on the baseball field.”

Riser gave credit to McNeese as one of the top teams in the Southland Conference and was glad to see his team compete with the best.

“That is a really good club,” said Riser. “Nobody is going to slow them down besides the defending champs. I thought we did a fantastic job. It was a heavyweight bout. They are gonna throw punches and we are gonna throw punches. I told our guys that if we hang in there and throw the last punch, we would have the result that we want at the end, and our guys did it.”

The Lions lost the second matchup of the series on Super Lion Saturday but bounced back on that same day by winning the final game by a walk-off single.

“Honestly, the second game didn’t define who we were,” said catcher sophomore Evan Pace. “We just stayed with the plan that coach Riser told us. We fought our way and they battled back with us. We gave it all we got and they gave all they have, and it turns out that we are the ones who came out on top.”   

Junior pitcher Mac Sceroler is now 5-0 at the mound this season. He pitched against McNeese in the first game of the series last Friday and set the tone for the pitching team.

“I did not expect to start the season 5-0 but a W is a W,” said Sceroler. “We got swept by Houston Baptist and that fired everybody up in the dugout. Once we beat UL Lafayette, we just carried that momentum into the games against McNeese. Hopefully, we can just keep carrying this confidence and see how far this streak can go.”

Redshirt senior outfielder Ryan Byers in the first game managed to hit a home run over the centerfield wall in Alumni Field.

“I’ve tried to hit one over center wall ever since I have been here,” said Byers. “I didn’t think that hit was going out. I thought it was going to hit top of the wall. I’m happy it went out though.”

Junior infielder Taylor Schwaner had 3 runs batted in for the final game against McNeese despite a minor injury during the game.

“I was able to get through it,” said Schwaner. “I stubbed up my finger a few times but I was still able to fight through it and drive in some runs for the team which was huge.”

The Lions will play South Alabama tonight in Alumni Field to attempt to keep their momentum and win more conference games.

“We just got to keep it rolling,” said Riser. “When we go about things the wrong way and the wrong energy, we get beat by whoever is in the dugout. When we go about it with the right energy and the right attitude and the right fundamentals in practice then we are having success.  It’s a week to week deal but I don’t want it to be a week to week deal, I want us to learn from our mistakes.”  

 

Junior pitcher Mac Sceroler winning his fifth game at the mound this season.
Jonathan Rhodes/ The Lion's Roar