Finally! After enduring a miserable 0-14 start to the season, the UNO Privateers baseball team has at last scored their first victory of the season and is riding a two-game winning streak heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Alcorn State Braves.
Both of their wins came in comeback fashion with the second one ending in a walk off.
After dropping the first game of a double header against the McNeese State Cowboys in which UNO could not quite complete overcoming an early eight-run deficit, the Privateers quickly found themselves down early again with a 3-0 deficit after two innings.
They tied the game up at 3 in the top of the third inning, but McNeese State tacked on two more runs in the bottom half of the third.
UNO fought back again with two runs in the top of the fourth inning to even the score up at 5. However, the Cowboys retook the lead again with another run in the bottom half of the fourth. McNeese State would add on an insurance run in the sixth. It looked like the Privateers would come up short once again when they found themselves still trailing by two runs and down to their last out in the ninth inning.
Then, the magic kicked in. With Chaz Boyer on third base, Andre Damiens singled to advance Boyer to second.
Reese Kanter then followed up with another single right up the middle, scoring Boyer and moving pinch runner Dan Perkins to second base, cutting the Cowboys lead to 7-6.
Morgan Barger then pinch hit for Seth Lagaist and ripped a double to right center field to score both Kanter and Perkins to give UNO an 8-7 lead.
Raymond Winter closed out the ninth inning to secure the Privateers’ first victory of the season with a scoreless inning, completing an impressive three and two-thirds scoreless innings of relief effort. Winter was also credited as the game’s winning pitcher.
The next game against the Alcorn State Braves saw the Privateers trailing early yet again, this time 2-0 after the top of the first inning.
But UNO was able to even the score with an RBI double by Jonathan Coco to score Blake Dixon in the second inning and a solo home run by Zachary Hawkins, his first of the season in the third.
Coco would score on a Zach Pohto sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to give UNO a 3-2 lead.
However, their lead was short-lived as Alcorn State knotted it up at 3 in the top of the fifth inning thanks to an error on a fly ball.
Reese Kanter then belted a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Privateers a 5-3 lead.
The Braves would tie it back up in the top of the seventh with a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded and an RBI groundout.
Chaz Boyer singled to lead off the bottom half of the ninth inning and quickly stole second base to put the winning run in scoring position.
Alcorn State then intentionally walked Zachary Hawkins in hopes of setting up a double play.
The Braves plan backfired disastrously as pitcher Cedric Walker threw a wild pitch that allowed Boyer to advance to third and Hawkins to second.
Another wild pitch enabled Boyer to score and win the game for UNO.
UNO’s two-game winning streak was the first winning streak the Privateers have had since March of the 2010 season.
Through the first sixteen games of the season, Andre Damiens leads the team in batting average, hitting a robust .395 to go with a healthy .458 on-base percentage. Zachary Hawkins leads the team with 8 RBI and 24 total bases. Even though he is still searching for his first win on the year, pitcher Alex Smith has posted a team-best 3.60 ERA.
The Privateers pulled off their third consecutive win Wednesday night to sweep their two game series against Alcorn State. Chaz Boyer once again played a crucial role in the victory, driving in two runs on an infield single in the eighth inning to put UNO ahead 7-5 for good. Boyer finished the game 2-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and three RBI.
The UNO baseball team will travel to Houston Friday to take on the Baylor Bears. Their next home game is April 2nd against the Tigers of Jackson State.