Baranik’s Masterpiece Silences A-State, 7-0
Saturday was the Carson Baranik Show at Tomlinson Stadium.
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns right hander faced just one batter over the minimum in an 84 pitch complete game as the second-ranked Cajuns moved closer to the Sun Belt title by beating Arkansas State 7-0 before 1,009, the second largest crowd in Tomlinson Stadium history.
Baranik (9-1) allowed a first inning single to designated hitter Zach Maggio, who was erased when Matt Burgess lined into a double play. Burgess got the only other Red Wolves’ hit, a leadoff single in the fifth.
Baranik struck out seven and did not walk a batter. He retired the last fifteen batters he faced as Louisiana (43-6 20-3 Sun Belt) won its fifth straight game. Of Baraniks’ 84 pitches, 61 were strikes. He went to a three ball count on only one batter.
Bradley Wallace (3-4) took the loss for Arkansas State (26-21, 14-9), despite tying his career high with twelve strikeouts in seven innings. Wallace walked two in the game, and allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits.
The Cajuns had ten hits, marking the 33rd time this season that Louisiana has reached the double figure mark in that category.
The Cajuns would get all the runs Baranik would need in the second inning. Tyler Girouard led off the inning with a single, one of his three hits on the night. Dylan Butler walked and Jace Conrad’s sacrifice moved the runners to second and third. Blake Trahan struck out, but reached when catcher Stuart Levy’s throw to first base was in the dirt, allowing Girouard to score. Chase Compton then singled home Butler and Trahan scored on a wild pitch by Wallace, giving the Cajuns a 3-0 lead.
THe Cajuns added a run in the fourth inning when Conrad was hit by a pitch, Trahan followed with an infield hit and Compton sacrificed. Michael Strentz then hit a sacrifice fly to deep right, scoring Conrad. The Cajuns added to the lead in the seventh on a Girouard bunt single and finished the scoring off reliever Cody Woodhouse in the eighth on Seth Harrison’s two run single.
Girouard’s three hits led the way for the Cajuns, while Ryan Leonards and Compton added two hits apiece.
The win clinched the weekend series for the 13th straight time and puts the Cajuns in position to clinch the #1 seed in the conference tournament if they can finish the sweep tomorrow. A victory combined with a Texas State loss would give the Cajuns the outright Sun Belt regular season title.
Left hander Cody Boutte will get the start for the Cajuns. Right hander Tanner Gaines will start for Tommy Raffo’s Red Wolves. Game time is at 1:00pm. Pre-game will begin at 12:30 on 96.5 KPEL-FM.