Tucker, pitchers help Lions sweep Bucs

The North Alabama baseball team returned home to face Christian Brothers University for the final home games of the season this weekend. They completed a sweep of the Buccaneers on Monday behind a complete game, shutout performance with ten strikeouts from senior Devan Traglia.

Traglia said he was satisfied with how he performed in his final home game as a Lion, but he also recognized the bittersweet nature of the game.

“I grew up here and I always wanted to play here out of high school and it is kind of cool getting to play my last outing with a complete game,” Traglia said. “It’s a little sad, but I really enjoyed it and had a good time out there today.”

Head coach Mike Keehn agreed that it was one of Traglia’s better starts all season.

“I thought he had a little more life on his fastball today, I thought he was throwing a little harder and when he can locate his slider he can really keep hitters off balance. When he gets more life on his fastball that just makes him that much tougher to hit,” Keehn said. “I thought (catcher) Payton Thomas called a really good game and they really worked well together.”

Tyler Joiner won his tenth game of the year for the Lions in game one of the series. The Lions scored 10 runs on 16 hits to win game one 10-0.

Game two came down to the last at bat as sophomore Davis Elliot hit a walk off RBI single for the Lions.

The Lions finished the series sweep with an 8-0 win. UNA scored seven runs in the first four innings to jump out to a sizeable lead.

The Lions offense also had a productive weekend due in large part to senior right fielder Drake Tucker. The UNA bats racked up 20 runs in the three games, nine of which were driven in by Tucker.

“I’m just out here having fun trying to enjoy it while it lasts. My approach is to just try and hit it right back at the pitcher every time,” Tucker said. “I just want to keep trying to play great baseball and not start trying to do too much.”

Coach Keehn feels good about where his team is right now and is excited to finish the season strong before the Gulf South Conference Tournament begins May 6.

“This group really plays the game right and that’s what I think gives us an opportunity to win games, we do the little things early and get runs and compete.”

The Lions will travel to Trevecca Nazarene April 25 and Valdosta State April 29-30 to finish out the regular season.