SLC regular season champion Bearkats drop 10 inning conference tournament opener to UNO

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SUGARLAND, Texas -- In a top seed upset that had not been achieved since 2015, the No. 8 New Orleans Privateers upended the No. 1 Sam Houston State 4-3 in 10 innings. The Privateers advance in the winner’s bracket and will play tomorrow at 7 p.m. CT while the Bearkats move to the elimination bracket tomorrow at noon.

New Orleans came out firing in the top of the second when a line drive single to right center field by Devin Morrill sent Scott Crabtree to third base. With two outs, a foul out toward first base kept the score knotted at zero.

The Bearkats responded in kind at the bottom of the second when Riley McKnight singled through the right side to put Jordan Cannon on third with two outs. A ground out to pitcher Seth Ballew ended the second inning with the two sides still scoreless.

The Privateers drew first blood at the top of the third when an Orynn Veillon double deep to the left field corner sent Pearce Howard home from first base for a 1-0 UNO lead.

Sam Houston again mirrored New Orleans’ plays, only this time twice – sending two RBI singles to the right field corner to plate two runs and take a 2-1 lead with two outs at the bottom of the third.

After a quiet middle stage, a sac fly from McKnight notched him another RBI as he sent Eric Bohnert home for a 3-1 Bearkats lead. The Privateers got the tying runs on first and second after Veillon forced a walk with two outs, after which Beau Bratton blasted his first swing into the right field corner for a triple, sending Veillon and Howard home to even the score at three runs apiece.

At the top of the ninth, New Orleans got the go ahead run to third base after a routine grounder to second base was fumbled by Andrew Fregia. However, the Bearkats safely got the final out on a ground out from third base.

Another short fielding gaffe from the Bearkats loaded the bases for UNO atop the 10th inning with no outs. On his first swing, Ductote sent a sac fly deep to right field to allow Veillon to tag up at third and give the Privateers a 4-3 lead with two outs.

With Reeves Martin on the mound for New Orleans to close out the game, Hunter Hearn forced a walk with two outs, after which Darien Simms pinch ran and stole second. Clayton Harp stepped to the plate as the Bearkats’ last hope to avoid the elimination bracket but struck out swinging after a lengthy at-bat to secure the 4-3 extra innings upset for UNO.

John Barr earned the win on the mound for UNO while Martin Reeves notched his eighth save of the season.

New Orleans moves on in the winner’s bracket and will face the winner of tonight’s game between No. 4 Houston Baptist and No. 5 Central Arkansas tomorrow at 7 p.m. Sam Houston moves to the elimination bracket and will take on the loser of tonight’s game at 12 p.m.