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UNO completes sweep of Bama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of New Orleans baseball team hit four home runs, including two home runs by first baseman Jerad Comarda en route to a 17-8 win over the University of Alabama baseball team on a chilly Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Comarda, who had played in nine games and made two starts entering Wednesday’s game at Alabama, went 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI as the Privateers completed the two-game sweep of the Crimson Tide. Comarda hit a solo home run in the second inning and added a two run home run in the eighth. He entered the Alabama game with one hit in 14 at-bats this season with no extra base hits.

UNO right fielder Ryan Eden added four singles and one RBI for the Privateers, while preseason All-American second baseman Johnny Giavotella had three hits and scored three runs to pace the 19-hit attack.

Alabama freshman second baseman Ross Wilson, junior right fielder Kent Matthes, junior first baseman Wes Henderson and junior shortstop Jeff Texada had two hits each and combined for eight of UA’s 10 hits in the loss.

Giavotella’s three-run home run in the top of the first inning staked the Privateers to an early 3-0 lead. The Privateers made its 4-0 in the second inning on Comarda’s first home run of the season.

New Orleans and Alabama combined for 12 runs and 12 hits in third inning that last more than one hour as the Privateers took a 12-4 lead into the fourth inning.

UNO (10-7) scored eight runs on seven hits in the third inning, aided by two errors by Texada, including a potential inning-ending double play that would have kept the Privateers off the scoreboard. Following the error, Justin Edwards it a grand slam into left field to put UNO in front 9-0. Joey Butler added a two-run single later in the inning as UNO sent 12 men to the plate en route to a 12-0 lead.

Alabama starter Miers Quigley (1-1) was charged with nine runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings en route to his first loss of the season.

The Crimson Tide answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 12-4. Henderson, making his first start since the 2006 season, homered down the left field line to put the Tide on the board. It was his first career home run. Texada and Wilson followed with doubles to make it 12-2. Sophomore left fielder Brandon May singled home Wilson for the third run of the inning.

Alabama (9-10) then loaded the bases to chase starter Jim McGonigle, who had a 12-run lead but could not finish the required five innings for the win. Del Howell greeted reliever Cody Myers with a fly ball to center to score May and make the score 12-4.

Myers (2-0) worked three scoreless innings for the win. He allowed one hit and added three strikeouts and two walks.

UNO added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 14-4 lead.

The Crimson Tide scored three unearned runs off reliever Tyler Sanders to cut the UNO lead to 14-7. Matthes’ two-run single with the bases loaded highlighted the inning for the Tide.

Alabama added another run in the seventh inning when junior Ryan Rhoden reached on an error by UNO shortstop Michael Knipper and later scored on sac fly by Texada to make the score 14-8.

Comarda hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning as UNO made it a 16-8 game.

Alabama returns to action this weekend when the Crimson Tide hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores in a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The series opener is Friday, March 21 at 6:35 p.m. (CST). The Crimson Tide will celebrate the 60th birthday of Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Friday and postgame fireworks show will follow the game.

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