Lions walk off with series victory over Incarnate Word

HAMMOND, LA - By: Damon Sunde

Southeastern Louisiana's Kyle Cedotal scored from third on a wild pitch to give the Lions a 5-4, walkoff win, and Southland Conference series victory, over Incarnate Word Sunday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Southeastern (23-13, 9-6 Southland) trailed UIW (11-22, 4-5 Southland) for most of the game, taking its only lead when Cedotal scored the winning run with one out in the ninth.

The Cardinals struck early for the second-consecutive day, taking a 3-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half.

Back-to-back two-out doubles in the first inning plated UIW's first run. In the second, right fielder Jason Stone knocked a one-out double to left-center field, moved to third on a single and then scored on Bryce Shepherd's single through the left side of the infield. Aaron Warren drove in the final run with a two-out single up the middle.

Matt Pittari replaced Lion starting pitcher Sean Kennel in the third inning and settled down the Cardinal bats, allowing just one unearned run in 3.2 innings of relief.

Held at bay most of the day by Cardinal right-hander Jacob Potts, the Lions finally broke through in the fourth. Potts hit Sam Roberson with a pitch to open the inning. Jameson Fisher and Andrew Godbold followed with Southeastern's first hits of the game. Roberson scored on Godbold's single to left.

After a trip to the mound by the UIW coaching staff, Daniel Midyett chopped a grounder off the bare hand of the first baseman and reached on the fielding error to load the bases. With one out, Kennon Menard drew a bases loaded walk to force in Fisher with the second run of the inning. Godbold scored, tying the game, when Cedotal yanked a grounder to first.

The Cardinals took the lead back in the sixth, scoring their unearned run on a pair of two-out singles sandwiched around a passed ball.

Southeastern tied the game once again, taking advantage of a leadoff walk, in the seventh. Jacob Williams drew the freebie, was sacrificed to second by Jacob Seward and scored on Fisher's second hit of the game – an RBI single to right.

Cedotal fought off a couple of pitches from Looper before leading off the ninth by blooping a double down the right-field line. Looper uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Cedotal to move to third, while working to retire Williams on a live drive back to the mound. With the infield drawn in, Cedotal scored the winning run when Looper unleashed another wild pitch while facing Seward.

Dylan Hills (3-2), who tossed three scoreless innings to close out the game, earned the win. Kris Looper (0-2) was tagged with the loss, facing just three batters in the ninth.

All four of Southeastern's hits directly contributed to runs being scored and all three innings in which the Lions scored began with the leadoff hitter reaching base.

Following the game, all team members and the coaching staff shaved their heads to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research. Partnering with the Vs. Cancer Foundation, the Lions also raised donations for cancer research. Portions of the donations will be split between the foundation and the Ochsner Cancer Institute in New Orleans, La. The donation website, will remain open to accept donations through the end of the season.

With the victory Southeastern is now one game in back of first place in the Southland. McNeese State, Nicholls State and Northwestern State own identical 10-5 conference records while Sam Houston State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are tied with the Lions for fourth place.

The Lions travel to South Alabama for a 6 p.m. contest Tuesday in Mobile, Ala.