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Privateers improve to 5-0

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NEW ORLEANS – For just the fifth time in program history, the University of New Orleans baseball team improved to 5-0 to start a season after a 16-2 victory over Jackson State on Thursday evening. The Privateers are now one win away from matching the best start in the team's history, which the club did 30 years ago in the 1987 campaign. The first five times UNO started the season 5-0, they finished the campaign with over 40 wins and made a postseason appearance.

Against Jackson State (1-3), New Orleans (5-0) allowed two runs in the opening frame, but responded with home runs from senior infielder Aaron Palmer and junior outfielder Tristan Clarke, sparking 16 unanswered runs. Senior outfielder Hezekiah Randolph and junior outfielder Jared McKay added home runs for the home side, recording their first bombs of the season in the fourth and eighth inning. It is the second-consecutive season the Privateers have had a four-home run outing, posting four at Stephen F. Austin on Mar. 8 last year.

"We swung the bat well tonight," head coach Blake Dean said. "We are doing a great job of hitting the ball into the gaps and getting extra base hits. Our defense did a great job as well tonight. [Rafael] Martinez looked a little shaken in his first inning, but settled down and gave us a few strong innings on the mound."

UNO set a season-high in runs scored in the victory, while falling one hit shy of matching their highest of the young season. Senior infielder Samuel Capielano and junior infielder Dakota Phillips both posted three hits on a night where 10 different Privateers recorded a hit, while Randolph, Clarke and McKay all logged three RBI. Clarke went 2-2 at the plate, extending his season-opening streak of multiple hits to five games.

New Orleans' offense has now produced double-digit runs in three-consecutive games, their longest run under head coach Blake Dean and their first streak of double-digit runs since the 2009 season.

On the mound for the home side, junior right handed pitcher Rafael Martinez got the start, allowing two runs off four hits in five innings with three strikeouts. Junior left handed pitcher Matt Gillis, junior right handed pitcher John Michael Stephens, freshman southpaw Christopher DeMayo and right handed pitcher Grant Baker all recorded one inning of scoreless baseball.

For Jackson State, Jonah Hargroves recorded three of the Tigers' seven hits, with Calvin Newsome adding two. Joshua Santiago got the start for JSU, allowing five runs off five hits in 2.1 innings to get the loss.

The Privateers return to action on Friday, Feb. 24, when they begin a three-game series with Troy University. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with a 12 p.m. start time on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets to future Privateers athletic events, contact the UNO Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 280-GAME (4263) and season tickets can be purchased over the Internet by clicking HERE.
                                                                                                                                   
--www.UNOPrivateers.com--


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