HAMMOND, La. – The HBU baseball team took both ends of a Southland Conference doubleheader and head coach Jared Moon picked up his 400th career win on Friday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, defeating Southeastern Louisiana 3-1 and 4-3.
Win number 400 came in the opener of the doubleheader with the Huskies (14-37, 11-26 SLC)) and Lions (29-22, 21-17 SLC) locked in a pitcher’s duel keeping the game scoreless into the fifth inning of the seven-inning game. HBU starter Daxton Tinker kept SLU off the board until the bottom of the fifth when a one-out walk was followed by a double off the bat of Eli Johnson to make it a 1-0 game.
In the top of the sixth, Brennan Bales reached base on a hit by pitch to open the inning with Brandon Bena following with a single to put runners on first and third with nobody out. Pinch hitter Todd Jackson then plated Bales from third and advanced Bena with a sacrifice bunt to even the score. SLU put pressure on the Huskies in the bottom half of the sixth with back-to-back singles to open the inning but Tinker came up with a big strikeout followed by a double play to end the threat.
After HBU’s first two batters in the seventh failed to reach base, Lane Botkin drew a two-out walk and stole second. With a full count, Jake Miller drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-center wall to put the Huskies ahead 3-1. Tinker then took care of business in the bottom of the seventh, retiring the side in order, for the complete-game victory.
Tinker picked up the win with his first complete game of the season, moving him to 2-4 for the year. The sophomore scattered six hits over seven innings with four strikeouts to just one walk. Miller went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored thanks to his second home run of the season.
In game two, Botkin opened things with a leadoff single and promptly stole second. Miller then knocked a single to left-center to score Botkin for a quick 1-0 lead just two batters in. SLU got on the board in the third, evening the score at 1-1 on a two-out double.
The Lions took the lead in the fifth after consecutive singles to open the inning followed by a sacrifice bunt to score Gaby Cruz from third. HBU re-took the lead in the top half of the sixth with Botkin again setting the table with a leadoff walk. After a Nathan Soriano groundout advanced Botkin to second, Bales singled to score Botkin with Brandon Bena following with a double down the left-field line to Bring Bales around to score.
The HBU lead was short-lived, however, with SLU’s Jacob Burke tying things at 3-3 with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Trent Franson opened things up with a double down the left-field line but was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice on the ensuing at-bat. With Parker Wayne on first and one out, Chase Talbot responded with a single to put runners on first and second. Botkin then came up with an 0-2 single through the right side to bring Wayne across the plate for a 4-3 lead.
Over the final three innings, reliever Andrew Reitmeyer shut down the Lions and only allowed one hit to preserve the Husky victory.
Botkin was 2-for-3 in game two with a walk, scoring twice and driving in one. Franson finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate.
Jared Burch started for the Huskies, allowing two earned runs over five innings on five hits with a pair of strikeouts. Reitmeyer earned the win in relief, allowing one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts over four innings of work. The senior is now 3-4 on the season.
The Huskies will wrap up the 2021 season on Saturday, May 22, against SLU with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m.