February 26, 2017

Frustrating 10th Inning Dooms UNO

Cable was a bright spot
in Sunday's loss
For the second consecutive day, New Orleans and Troy went to extra innings at Maestri Field. But on Sunday, the outcome wasn't as happy for the Privateers (6-2), who fell 4-3.

In the top of the tenth, two tough plays that could have been made but weren't -- a screaming liner off the glove of second baseman Sam Capielano and a sinking liner off the glove off left fielder Dakota Dean -- opened the door just enough for Troy to take a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the frame, the Privateers got back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second with nobody out for Tristan Clarke. But Clarke, after getting ahead 2-0 and 3-2, flew out. Hezekiah Randolph grounded to the pitcher, and after an intentional walk to John Cable, pinch hitter Jay Robinson struck out looking.

Cable had a tremendous day for a Privateer offense that was otherwise held in check in consecutive games by the Troy pitching staff. Cable went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple.

February 25, 2017

Setback: Demons Beat UNO

The Privateers, trying to close out a regular season Southland title, dropped a back-and-forth contest at Northwestern State on Saturday afternoon, 83-82.

The Demons, in 12th place in the league to start the day, benefited from the return of injured star Zeek Woodley, who burned New Orleans for 28 points, including the game winner with 4.3 seconds left. UNO (17-10, 12-4) appeared sluggish and displayed none of the defensive intensity that got them an emotional blowout win over Stephen F. Austin earlier in the week.

Erik Thomas led the Privateer effort with 23 points.

UNO Wins... Pitcher's Duel? Really?

Bryan Warzek, and later Rafael
Martinez, kept UNO in a pitcher's duel
Yep, they did.

A day after what appeared to be a typical 2017 outing -- a slugfest, and in this case a 12-9 loss to Troy -- the Privateers (6-1) held the Trojans offense in check even as their own hitters uncharacteristically struggled. But in the end, a Dakota Phillips grounder through the legs of Troy second baseman Brandon Lockridge sent UNO home a 3-2 winner in 13 innings.

Bryan Warzek provided New Orleans with a much-needed quality start, throwing six innings and surrendering just two runs. The bullpen was also effective, led by Rafael Martinez's sparkling 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball to finish the game.  Martinez has yet to walk a batter in his 9 1/3 innings thus far this season.

UNO and Troy will play the rubber match tomorrow at noon at Maestri Field.

February 24, 2017

Troy Deals UNO First Loss

3B Owen Magee
Baseball teams don't go undefeated, and Friday night saw the Privateers (5-1) finally unable to outslug someone, falling to Troy 12-9 at Maestri Field.

With Shawn Semple sitting out this series with a concussion, Riley Hodge got the Friday start and was promptly knocked out of the game in the third inning, unable to hold an early 6-2 New Orleans lead.  Relief pitching was just as spotty for the home team, and the Bucs couldn't hold Troy down long enough for its potent lineup to make a comeback.

It was, however, another sparkling outing for the offense, led by third baseman Owen Magee's two home runs. Tristan Clarke also homered for the third consecutive game.

Game two against Troy will begin tomorrow at noon at Maestri Field.

February 23, 2017

Swarming Privateers Blitz SFA

Nate Frye had 16 in the
first half against SFA
In a game pitting first-place New Orleans against second-place Stephen F. Austin with huge implications for the regular season title, the Privateers (17-9, 12-3) absolutely dominated from the jump and unleashed a 82-65 destruction on the Lumberjacks at Lakefront Arena.

Erik Thomas and Nate Frye had 18 each to lead UNO, and Frye fueled the Privateers' clinic of a first half, notching 16 points to lead the home team to a stunning 41-21 lead at the break.  New Orleans forced 13 turnovers in that half with an intense, stifling defense, including 8 steals.  Frye led the way for the game with 4 steals.

The Bucs scored the first 10 points of the second half to effectively seal the game, leading by as many as 32 before the game got ragged and the Jacks cut into the lead late.

The win gives UNO a two-game lead in the Southland regular season race with three games to play. They will head to Northwestern State to face the Demons on Saturday.