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Warhawks blast Southeastern, 23-5; ULM scores 19 runs in 4th inning



MONROE, La. – One of the biggest innings in NCAA Division I baseball history rallied the ULM Warhawks to a 23-5 five-inning win over Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night at Warhawk Field.

Records tumbled in a 19-run fourth inning. The 19 runs smashed the previous school record of 12 runs in an inning, set twice, first against Mississippi College in 1986, and again in 2005 against Southeastern. The inning fell one run shy of the NCAA Division I record for runs in a fourth inning, and two shy of the Division I record for any single inning. The 12 bases on balls drawn by ULM in the frame sets a new NCAA Division I record, which was previously set by TCU with 11 against Dallas Baptist in 1998. ULM sent 25 men to the plate in the inning, one shy of the NCAA Division I record for plate appearances in an inning.

“I’ve never been a part of that many runs in one inning,” ULM head coach Michael Federico said. “I thought our guys had some really good approaches. There’s a couple walks involved in that inning that were 3-2 counts, that we worked the counts really well. It kind of got out of hand from their standpoint on the mound. It was good to see some of those quality arms and have quality at bats that we did there.”

ULM (7-1) trailed Southeastern 5-4 entering the bottom of the fourth inning after the Lions had scored five straight runs to answer ULM’s four-run first inning. After Trace Henry opened the inning with a fly out to center field, the next nine Warhawks all reached base with a free pass as seven drew a base on balls and two were hit by a pitch. After Mason Holt struck out for the second out of the inning, Andrew Beesley drew a walk to force in another run, giving ULM seven runs in the inning without swinging the bat, and an 11-5 lead.

The Warhawks then started to swing the bat as well. Danny DeSimone sent a grand slam over the right field wall, his third home run of the season and second grand slam, to push the lead to 15-5. Ryan Humeniuk followed with a solo homer two pitches later for a 16-5 lead.

With the bases clear, two outs and 12 runs already home in the inning to match the school record, the carousel started again. Wiley Cleland reached on an error, and the next four Warhawks each drew walks to make the lead 18-5. Holt reached on the second error of the inning, and brought Carson Klepzig home for a 19-5 advantage.

That’s when Beesley stepped to the plate and hit the third home run of the inning. ULM’s second grand slam of the frame sailed over the right field wall, putting the Warhawks up 23-5.

“It’s always be prepared for a pitch to hit,” Beesley said of his approach. “I knew they had to come to me. The bases were loaded and I was just hoping I’d get a pitch to hit and not miss it. I didn’t.”

ULM tried to keep the inning rolling, as DeSimone and Humeniuk followed with singles and Cleland walked to load the bases again, but the inning mercifully came to a close when Michael Cervantes popped out in foul territory.

Early on, ULM grabbed a 4-0 first inning lead as Beesley, Humeniuk and Cleland each had an RBI in the inning. ULM has scored in the first inning in six of eight games this season, and has outscored opponents 21-0 in the opening frame.

Southeastern answered with a run in the second inning, and then added four more in the third for a 5-4 lead. The two sides agreed to call the game when it became official after the top of the fifth inning.

“It’s 5 to 4 going into the inning,” Federico said. “We had some really good at bats early, and then got a little out of whack there. When you score that many runs, sometimes you get selfish. You swing at some bad pitches and things like that. I thought we really did a good job of taking what the game gave us. It was encouraging to see that.”

Beesley had two hits with a double, grand slam, six RBIs and two walks. Humeniuk was 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. DeSimone had two hits, including the grand slam, with four RBIs and a walk. Cleland, Henry and Nathan Miranda had two RBIs apiece. All nine Warhawks scored at least two runs and drew at least one base on balls, and eight of the nine Warhawks picked up at least one RBI.

Dylan Marsh earns his first win of the season out of the bullpen, throwing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless and hitless baseball, allowing one walk with two strikeouts.