Southeastern pitcher solid gold in Sunday no-hitter
HAMMOND, LA — Southeastern Louisiana's Jordan Hymel earned his first win of the season Sunday as the senior left-hander no-hit Texas Southern, 9-0, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
The Lions completed the series sweep of Texas Southern (7-6) as Hymel bounced back from a rough outing in his previous start to throw the fourth no-hitter in Southeastern history. Hymel's previous start was suspended mid-performance at LSU by rain and lightning.
“Jordan was outstanding today,” coach Jay Artigues said. “His fastball had a little run on it and he struggled to command it because of that. He did a great job making some adjustments. Coach [Daniel] Latham did a great job of helping him tinker with a few things and Jordan just took over from there.
A native of Gramercy, La., Hymel started strong, fanning three of the first four batters he faced. Tiger left fielder Ellis Stephney drew a one-out walk in the second inning, but by that point Southeastern (8-2) had generate all the offense it would need.
Lion third baseman Jesse Buratt drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the first and was on base when junior Aaron Haag parked his first home run of the season over the left-field scoreboard. The two-run home run was just the beginning of a great day at the plate for Haag.
“Texas Southern is going to win a lot of ballgames, but Aaron Haag's hit was huge,” Artigues said. “It gave us a two-run cushion and we added on from there.”
The Southeastern first baseman went 3-for-4 at the plate, with a walk, and drove in seven runs. A bases-loaded double in the fourth plated three and the former JUCO All-American added an RBI-double in the seventh. A misplayed fly ball in the eighth resulted in a fielder's choice, but drove home Brett Hoffman for RBI number seven.
Meanwhile, Hymel continued to keep the Texas Southern bats off balance. A pair of walks in the fifth broke a string of eight-in-a-row retired, but the southpaw bounced back to sit down the next six.
“I mostly concentrated on the guy at the plate, but I made it hard enough on myself,” Hymel said. “I just needed to throw strikes. As I got tired, my arm was lagging and I'd throw balls. I'm just glad coach Artigues finally let me finish a game.”
The Lutcher High School graduate walked six and hit a batter, but struck out seven en route to pitching his first career complete game. Hymel came within an out of throwing a complete game last season at home against UT Arlington.
“The guys would give me high-fives when I'd come in the dugout, but no one would come talk to me,” Hymel said. “Wherever I put my glove or my hat, it just stayed there. I thought about it a couple of times, but I knew I was throwing a complete game for sure.”
Hymel's no-hitter is the first for Southeastern since Blaine Roseberry and John Morton combined on a seven-inning no-hitter against Louisiana College in 1979. It is the first complete-game, nine-inning no-hitter for the Lions since Kenny Lehrmann completed the feat against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1976 and the first for Southeastern at the NCAA Division I level.
Sunday's gem is the second no-hitter thrown by a Southland Conference pitcher this season as Central Arkansas' Bryce Biggerstaff no-hit Jackson State, 13-0, Feb. 24.
Southeastern returns to action Tuesday at Ole Miss. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU 90.9 FM.
“Jordan did a good job of keeping everybody fresh today, so our bullpen is rested heading into Ole Miss,” Artigues said.