Baranik’s Gem Draws Cajuns Even in Series, 1-0
Like last night, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns scored only one run against Eastern Illinois. But unlike last night, one was enough.
Carson Baranik made sure of that.
The junior right-hander, making his first appearance as a Cajun, allowed just one hit over 7.1 innings to lead the Cajuns to a 1-0 win over Eastern Illinois in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Baranik got the only run he would need when Cajuns’ second baseman Jace Conrad homered off losing pitcher Matt Borens (0-1). It was Conrad’s first homer of the season after hitting four a year ago.
Baranik (1-0) didn’t allow a hit until Jacob Reese doubled with two men out in the fifth. It was one of only three base runners allowed by the junior transfer from Miami-Dade College. Baranik walked two and hit one batter. He fanned eight.
Matt Hicks got the final two outs of the eighth inning and Ryan Wilson pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
After Conrad’s homer, the Cajuns got a double from Ryan Leonards and Borens hit Chase Compton with a pitch. But third baseman Brant Valach speared Michael Strentz’ hard grounder to end the threat.
The Cajuns also had two runners on in the sixth and seventh but couldn’t put up an insurance run.
Borens pitched well for EIU, giving up four hits through six innings. He walked one, hit three batters and struck out seven.
Hicks entered the game after Baranik walked Jacob Reese with one out. He gave up a single to pinch hitter Cameron Berra. Mitch Gasbarro then tried to squeeze the runner home, but Hicks made an athletic play and threw to Strentz, who tagged pinch hitter Tyler Schweigert for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Matt Dunavant struck out to end the inning.
Wilson gave up a leadoff single to Caleb Howell leading off the ninth. But Wilson struck out pinch hitter Trey Russell and got Valach to hit into a double play to end the ball game.
After today’s doubleheader, the Cajuns and Panthers will wind up their four-game series Sunday beginning at 1pm..