The Spring Hill College baseball team lost a 7-4 non-conference game to the University of New Orleans (UNO) on Monday night at historic Stan Galle Field.
The Privateers (11-12) scored three runs in the top of the 9th inning to break open a 4-4 tie as designated hitter Zach Liberto led off the frame with a single off the foot of pitcher Alex Summers (1-2) that was followed by a bunt base hit by centerfielder Blake LaBlanc.
Jeff Keenum then took the mound in relief of Summers and his first batter, left fielder Jake Palmisano, dropped a bunt down the 3rd base line that Keenum threw past 1st base bringing Liberto around from 2nd base with the go-ahead run. Lablanc would score one batter later off a sacrifice squeeze by 3rd baseman Cameron Wheeless and Palmisano would be brought in by a sacrifice fly to left by shortstop Beau Blancaneaux.
SHC would load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, but a fly ball to right-center ended the threat and the game.
The Badgers had previously tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the 8th when right fielder Wayne Huell drove in 1st baseman Jacob Mattrella from 2nd base with a single to right-centerfield.
Earlier, UNO took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning only to see the Badgers take a 3-1 lead off a 2-RBI single by shortstop Ryan Cummings in the 3rd inning and a run-scoring single in the 4th by starting 3rd baseman Rick LaForce.
In the 6th inning, the Privateers grabbed a 4-3 advantage with a double to deep right by catcher Steffan Farrell that plated a run followed by a 2-out, 2-run single up the middle by 1st baseman Jonathan Coco that ended the night of Badger starter Keller Douglas.
Douglas went 5.2 innings with five hits, three walks and five strikeouts in the no decision while Summers lasted 2.1 innings with three hits and two strikeouts in the loss.
Cory Hoffman (2-0) picked up the win in relief of UNO starter Casey Kelton, going five innings with five hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Kyle Blancaneaux added his fourth save of the year in one inning of work with a hit, a walk and no strikeouts.
At the plate, 2nd baseman Brian Sims, catcher Ryan Stevens and LaForce each had two hits for Spring Hill while Farrell and Coco each had two safeties for UNO as Coco collected three RBI on the night.
Spring Hill (13-19) will host the Tougaloo College Bulldogs (4-28) at Stan Galle Field in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.