Baranik, Plitt Stifle ULM, 9-1
Thursday night the Louisiana offense fought back from a deficit to notch the team’s 47th win of the season.
Friday night, the Cajuns’ pitchers took center stage.
Carson Baranik and Matt Plitt combined on a six hitter as the Cajuns spotted UL Monroe an early 1-0 lead then shut down the Warhawks’ offense the rest of the way. The 9-1 Cajuns win put the 2014 Sun Belt regular season champions at 48-7, 25-4 in league. play.
Baranik (10-1) was credited with the win despite pitching just four innings, as it was determined the junior right hander would be on a pitch count before the game began. He allowed just three hits and one run with three strikeouts, throwing just 45 pitches.
Plitt threw the final five innings for his third save of the season. The hard throwing senior walked one and struck out five.
ULM (22-33, 11-18 Sun Belt) got on the board in the second inning on a two out single by Trent Lucas and a triple down the right field line by Jacob Stockton.
The Cajuns tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Greg Davis hit his third home run in his last four games, and Louisiana took the lead for good one inning later on Michael Strentz’ homer to left field. It was Strentz’ eighth home run of the year, with half of them coming against ULM pitching. Louisiana added a run in the third on a bunt single by Ryan Leonards, a sacrifice and a Jace Conrad double of the right field wall.
Leonards was hit by a pitch to open the fifth inning, and back to back doubles by Seth Harrison and Tyler Girouard scored a pair of runs to make the score 5-1. The Cajuns added three in the sixth on singles by Davis and pinch hitter Kyle Clement, an error and a Leonards two run single. Louisiana ended the scoring in the seventh when Chase Compton was hit by a pitch, sent to second on a ground ball and scored on Clements’ single.
ULM threatened off Baranik in the third when Cody Stone singled and Keelin Rasch reached on an error. Dalton Herrington sacrificed the runners to second and third, but Baranik got Chet Simoneaux to pop up and retired Kodie Tidwell on agrounder to end the threat.
ULM got the first two on in the seventh inning, but Plitt got Stockton to hit into a double play and retired Stone on a ground ball.
Leonards, Girouard, Davis and Clement each had two hits for the Cajuns, while Leonards scored twice and drove in two runs. In the last four games, Davis is 10-16 with three home runs and 13 RBI. Lucas had a pair of hits for ULM.
The Warhawks are currently tied with UALR for the eighth and final spot in the Sun Belt Tournament. They will qualify with a win, or a loss coupled with either a UALR loss or a South Alabama loss.
The Cajuns will celebrate senior day tomorrow prior to the 3pm start. In addition, those who have completed their academic requirements will receive their degrees on the field before the contest.
Cody Boutte gets the start for the Cajuns tomorrow while left hander Cody Miller starts for ULM.