Lions sweep New Orleans on the road

Josh Cyr delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of the opener and Michael Watkins fired a complete-game shutout in the nightcap as the University of North Alabama swept a double-header from New Orleans, 5-4 and 4-0.

UNA trailed 4-2 in the opening game before scoring a run in the eighth and another in the ninth to force extra innings. Josh Doyle then walked, stole second and was sacrificed to third in the tenth before Cyr hit a deep fly to left to drive in the winning run. The Lions left 15 runners on base in the game.

In the second game, Watkins pitched a five hitter in recording his sixth win of the season. The Lions got a run in the second inning, two in the fifth and one in the sixth in the win.

With the sweep, UNA improves to 33-12 overall and 13-7 in the Gulf South Conference. New Orleans drops to 14-25 and 6-16.

UNA took a 1-0 lead in the opener with a run in the third inning. Michael Schmidt walked, was sacrificed to second and scored on an RBI-single by Jake Sloan. New Orleans then took the lead with two runs in the fourth on three hits. The Lions tied it in the fifth as Josh Doyle singled and eventually scored on a heads-up play from third as he came home on a wild pitch was was just a few feet in front of home plate. The Privateers went back on top with a run in the seventh and extended it to 4-2 with a run in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth Andrew Almon singled and later scored on a ground-out by Schmidt, but the Lions left the bases loaded. North Alabama loaded the bases again in the ninth but could score only one run as Sloan singled and scored on a fielder's choice by Drew Humphrey.

In the tenth, UNA got a leadoff walk from Doyle, he stole second and was sacrificed to third by J.P. LaMunyon. Cyr then delivered the game winning sacrifice.

Johnny Hornbuckle pitched seven and 2/3 innings for the Lions, allowing four runs on nine hits. Brantley Claunch pitched one and 1/3 innings and Ben Seabrook (1-1) got the win in one inning of relief. After Claunch allowed a leadoff single in the top of the tenth, Seabrook came on and made a diving catch on a sacrifice attempt and doubled the runner off first for a double-play. He then retired the next batter to give the Lions a chance in the bottom of the inning.

Kyle Blancaneaux (0-2) took the loss in relief for New Orleans.

In the nightcap, UNA went on top in the second inning as LaMunyon reached on an error and scored on an RBI-single from Almon. The Lions got two more in the fifth on a combination of two hits and two UNO errors. Humphrey and Doyle scored for UNA. Josh Carpenter scored an insurance run in the sixth, reaching on a single and scoring on an RBI-single by Humphrey.

Watkins (6-1) pitched seven innings, allowing no runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

UNA hosts New Orleans in the final game of the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mike Lane Field.