Friday, March 23, 2018

Lions open 2018 season vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville

Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018 | Views: 580

Lions open 2018 season vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana opens the 2018 season this weekend at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field with a three-game series against Ohio Valley Conference-member SIU-Edwardsville.

Games are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday between the Lions (37-22 in 2017) and SIUE (23-29 in 2017).

Friday’s series opener and Sunday’s series finale can be heard in the Hammond, Louisiana, area on KSLU 90.9 FM, and worldwide online or through the TuneIn Radio app (search for KSLU). Fans can keep up with the game through live statistics or by following @SLUathletics on Twitter.

Streaming video is available on LionVision, Southeastern's subscription-based video stream.

The series finale is also one of five Sunday home baseball games set aside for Local Hero Appreciation. With a tip of the cap to local first responders, service members and military personnel, a discounted ticket is available at the ticket booth for those presenting a valid ID.

Links for audio, video, stats, gameday promotions and tickets are available on the baseball schedule page at

Friday at 6 p.m., the Lions will send senior right-hander Josh Green (5-0, 4.14 in 2017) to the mound opposite SIUE senior righty Nelson Martz (7-5, 5.56). One of the top pro prospects in the Southland Conference according to both Baseball America and D1Baseball, Green slides into the slot occupied most of last season by current Cincinnati Reds-prospect Mac Sceroler.

Junior right-hander Corey Gaconi (7-5, 3.08) returns to a familiar role, earning the starting nod Saturday at 2 p.m. versus Cougar senior righty Brock Fulkerson (4-7, 6.32). A preseason All-Southland selection, Gaconi’s 16 starts in 2017 are tied for the third most in program history.

SIUE will send out junior right-hander Kenny Serwa, a transfer from St. Joseph’s College (Ind.), in Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale against Lion junior righty Mason Knopp. A transfer, Knopp broke the Neosho County CC wins record previously set by former Lion pitcher Jake Johnson.

Southeastern’s 2017 season came to an end at the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but in the process the Lions became the only non-Power 5 program to have earned at-large bids each of the past two seasons.

Senior third baseman Taylor Schwaner, the 2017 Southland Conference Player of the Year and a consensus preseason All-American, returns to lead the Southeastern offense.

Scwhaner wrapped up 2017 with a .332 batting average, 15 doubles, four triples, 16 home runs, 72 RBI and 17 stolen bases. The Slidell, Louisiana, native finished eighth nationally in RBI, leading the Southland in home runs and slugging percentage (.668). He also finished in the conference's Top 10 in runs scored (56), walks (43) and stolen bases.

Outfielder Drew Avans led Southeastern’s notoriously aggressive baserunning with 29 stolen bases, ranking ninth nationally. The senior from Alabaster, Alabama, returns after hitting .312, second on the Lions, with 14 doubles, 1 triple, four home runs, 32 RBI and a team-leading 44 walks.

As a team in 2017, the Lions hit .255, with 94 doubles, 18 triples and 60 home runs. Their 119 stolen bases ranked fifth nationally. Southeastern's pitching staff compiled a 4.29 ERA, fanning 414 batters through 522.1 innings of work. Opponents hit .255 off Lion pitching.

SIUE did not qualify for the OVC tournament last season.

Dustin Woodcock (.330), Brock Weimer (.329) and Jared McCunn (.309) are the Cougars’ top returning hitters. Weimer led SIUE with 15 home runs and 50 RBI. Woodcock’s seven stolen bases were the most among the Cougars’ returning players.

As a team, SIUE hit .293 with 89 doubles, 8 triples, 53 home runs and 37 stolen bases. The Cougars’ pitching staff compiled a 7.47 ERA, fanning 340 batters in 447 innings pitched. Opponents hit .321 off SIUE pitchers.

Southeastern continues its season opening, nine-game homestand Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Alcorn State.

Single game tickets can be purchased online at or by contacting the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466.

All home games are available except the matchup with No. 9-ranked LSU. Tickets to that game will only be available for purchase by Diamond Club members and current baseball season ticket holders until Feb. 21.

General Admission tickets for Lion home games are $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). Tax is included in the price of admission. Southeastern students are admitted free with a valid university ID card.

Students and campus organizations can earn points toward their Lion Up Loyalty account at any home game by checking in on the mobile app while in attendance.

Fans interested in joining the Diamond Club can do so by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at (985) 549-5091.

Fans are encouraged to follow @Lions_Baseball on Twitter, @SLU_LionsBaseball on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel to keep up with the latest on Southeastern baseball.