SLU Eliminates Bryant from NCAA Regional

NCAA Baseball Regional at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field
NCAA Baseball Regional at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field
Steve Franz
Todd Politz (@tpolitz)
Todd Politz (@tpolitz)
Director of Digital Media

BATON ROUGE -- Sam Roberson's sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th kept Southeastern Louisiana alive in the NCAA Regional at Alex Box Stadium, 2-1, as Bryant was eliminated on Saturday.

The Lions advanced to the loser's bracket final and will face the loser of LSU and Houston at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday.

Southeastern Louisiana's victory wasn't without drama. Bryant opened the bottom of the 10th with a double and a single to put runners on second and third with no outs. After a strikeout and an intentional walk to load the bases, Mason Klotz (2-0) got Zarozny to pop up to shallow right field. Andrew Godbold made the catch then threw out Dan Cellucci who tried to tag from third to tie the game.

Bryant reliever Trevor LaCosse (4-4) took the loss after allowing one run on four hits with two strike outs in 1.2 innings.



Opening Statement…
“The ending always comes abruptly.  You just keep fighting and fighting and then all of a sudden it’s the end.  I’m very pleased with our season.  We had a great year with a really young team.  Every position player on the field today was an underclassman.  We had Craig (Schlitter) pitching, who did a wonderful job today.  I was hoping we could score him some runs, he could get a ‘W’ and we would move on to tomorrow. But it didn’t happen.  We just played 20 innings…we were in a dogfight for 20 innings.  We did some really good things, but we also made a lot of little mistakes.  I think physically, with our talent, we are very good.  We can play with any Division I quality baseball team in the country.  I think we’ve proven that the last two years.  What I try to emphasize with our team is the importance of all the little things.  We fell a little short with some of those little things, like sacrifice bunting and moving runners in key situations.  Just little things that have nothing to do with how big, strong or fast you are… They will value those things a little more when we teach them. Hopefully, we can return next year to a regional and advance further than we did this year.  Our goal was to get to the regional final this year.”

On their aggressive approach at the plate and the last play at the end of the game…
“I mean, we were over-aggressive offensively today.  I think that happens when you are pressing to score runs.  That’s a natural instinct.  When you feel pressure to do something outside of what you are supposed to do, you get over-aggressive.  I didn’t think we did a good job of controlling the tempo of our at-bats.  We swung at too two-out balls many times.  With respect to the last play, I thought A.J. (Zarozny) hit it pretty good off the bat.  The wind blew it back in.  I obviously knew the outfielder (Andrew Godbold had a good arm.  It was a shallow fly ball, and I told him (Dan Cellucci) to go.  He (Godbold) made a good throw.  It was a couple of inches from going over his (catcher Jameson Fisher) head.  If you have to do it over again, then I would do it differently.  But I made a decision.  We scored one run in ten innings.  I wanted him to make a play, and he made a play.”

On how big it is for Bryant to play in the NCAA Tournament…
“I just got a phone call from the president and the Athletic Director and the Associate Athletic Director along with about ten other support people…I know there were a ton of people watching.  With ESPN, you can watch the games.  My kids were watching back home and all the people in our region of the country.  We were the only New England team that’s playing in the tournament.  We were really hoping to show what type of team we were on a national stage.  I feel we did that.  The wins and losses are something that we would like to have. This is only our second team eligible as a Division I program, and we have already played five NCAA Tournament games.  We were a three-seed two years in a row, which I think shows some respect in our program.  It’s great to come to a nice venue like this.”

Bryant Player Quotes

RHP Craig Schlitter

On his career playing at Bryant…
“I can honestly call Bryant home now. Over the past four years, it’s been pretty special. The guys I’ve been with, I couldn’t have done it without them. I’ve always strived on using my defense, so I think that’s a big part of getting 10 wins (for the season).”

CF Carl Anderson

On his offensive performance…
“I just tried to get things going. As leadoff hitter, it’s real important that I get on-base. As a leader, I just try to start things up for the team. I just seen the ball well today, and I let it happen.”

On the team’s aggressive offensive play...
“We tried to get a pitch we can hit, but we let him get into a groove there. I mean, we didn’t really slow down his tempo much. With strike throwers, they’re just going to put it down the middle. You just got to get a bat on it. We let him cruise through some innings. It happened so fast.”

On SLU’s Mason Klotz’s unorthodox pitching style…
“We’ve seen it all this year. We’ve seen lefty guys that sling it, righties down there (in the batter’s box). You just got to learn how to pick up the ball. Obviously, it’s unique. It had some sink on it. It was kind of hard to pick up, but we’ve seen pretty much everything this year. It’s been a long season. We’ve seen some good arms and about every arm angle you can think of.”


Southeastern Head Coach Matt Riser

Opening Statement…
“I think early in the ball game you saw both clubs struggling to try to get some things going. They had a tough loss yesterday, we had a tough loss yesterday. We knew it would be one to keep grinding out. Obviously when you get late in the ballgame, we practice what you call a championship inning. In the ninth (inning) we just kept talking about it, one inning at a time. If you win the championship inning, you win the ballgame. You just have to keep grinding it out no matter what happens and obviously you saw. We had guys on first and second with nobody out but couldn’t get the bunt down. Then, we execute the hit and run and a big sacrifice fly. Then, we give up the leadoff double. They have guys on second and third with nobody out. It was a big situation, nine times out of ten, you don’t come out of it. Our guys have been put in that situation all year long. I don’t think we’ve had a lot of blowouts, most of the games we’ve played have been tight. They did a great job of handling the moment.”

On the 10th inning…
“Obviously, we would have liked to have gotten the bunt down to make it a little bit easier, but like I said, it’s a unique bunch of kids that like to do it the tough way. (Brett) Hoffman has been great for us all year long. Obviously, we didn’t get the bunt down there, but he had teammates around to pick him up. When we got together, (Daniel) Midyett was there and was confident in it. I just told them to put the ball on the ground and do a good job on the bases. Just keep your head up. We executed the hit and run. The pitcher (Trevor Lacosse) didn’t cover first base there. We continued to try to put pressure on the defense by moving guys and putting guys in motion to get those breaks.”

On pitcher Tate Scioneaux’s performance…
“That’s why we like our bunch in the tournament. We knew we were going to be better on the mound. We knew we were going to have some guys on that front end as far as rotation wise that allowed us to hold some opponents down. Bryant had been swinging the bat well all year. I think they came into the game with every guy hitting over .300 at the time. Obviously, it wasn’t a great performance by Tate. He didn’t have his best stuff. He did a good job of continuing to compete. When you’ve got confident kids that continue to compete, the result is usually a good one. “

Southeastern Louisiana Player Quotes


On his big play in left field in the tenth inning to keep Bryant from tying the game…
“I saw the ball go up and I thought ‘alright throw him out’. That’s it. That’s all you have to think about, catch the ball and throw the ball. I thought since it was a little shallow he wasn’t going to go, but I probably made the best throw of my life right then.”

On Southeastern Louisiana advancing in the regional tournament…
“It is a big deal. We know that. We know it’s been a while. I think we were one-and-four in regionals until today, but we don’t think about that. We feel like we can compete with anybody. It is one pitch at the time and one game at the time. We have to keep winning. Obviously we aren’t out. We play tomorrow. We play a very good team in Houston or LSU. We will compete like we always do. We never count ourselves out. No matter what the situation is. It is baseball. You keep playing and keep competing to come out with a W.


On his RBI sac fly to take the lead in the top of the 10th inning…
“I was trying to get something in the zone. I got down in the count. He made some really good pitches. He was trying to get me to hit the ball somewhere on the ground for a double play. He was trying to get me out front. I waited back and made a pretty good swing on it.”


On relieving Tate Scioneaux in the top of the seventh…
“Tate (Scioneaux) gave us a great start. My job was to come in to hold those guys where our team could come out with a W. I kept competing and competing. Our guys came through for me.”

On Southeastern competing to stay in the tournament…
“Our team takes pride in the way we compete. We always compete from the first inning to the last inning. Within the game, we just try to win each inning as it goes and eliminate. We did a great job of that today. We went through some tough spots, but our guys came through today with big plays like Andrew did in the tenth inning.”




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