Bats Alive! Cajuns Earn Split with UT Arlington
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns showed signs of breaking out of their team hitting slump in game one of their doubleheader with UT Arlington in a 4-1 loss.
In game two, they showed the signs were for real.
Louisiana pounded out 15 hits, their highest total since opening weekend, in a come from behind 6-4 win to split their doubleheader with the Mavericks.
The Cajuns (28-16, 13-7 Sun Belt) had five extra base hits in the second game, taking an early lead, then scoring three times in the final two innings after falling behind.
Brian Mills, Kyle Clement and Nick Thurman had three hits each, with Mills scoring three times and Clement driving in three runs to pace the 15 hit attack in the nightcap.
Hunter Kasuls led off game two with a single and went to third on Mills' single. Clement's grounder scored the freshman with the game's first run and Brenn Conrad's double knocked in Mills as the Cajuns took an early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Brady Cox doubled, the first of his four hits in game two, and scored on Darien McLemore's double to cut the Cajuns' lead in half.
But the Cajuns got that run back in the third inning on singles by Mills and Clement and a Conrad ground out to take a 3-1 lead.
Wyatt Marks, the Cajuns game two starter, allowed just four hits through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth when Josh Minjares singled and went to second on a throwing error. He scored on R. J. Williams' one out single and Williams went to third on Cox' single. Marks struck out McLemore with Cox stealing second. The Cajuns then turned to Eric Carter, (3-1) who gave up a bouncing grounder between short and third by Quintin Rohrbaugh, scoring both runners and giving the Mavericks a 4-3 lead.
But in the seventh, Thurman led off with his third straight hit against Mavericks' starter Joel Kuhnel (4-3) and went to second on Joe Robbins' sacrifice. Kasuls then doubled up the gap to score Thurman with the game-tying run and scored what proved to be the winning run on Clement's double.
The Cajuns added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on Mills' one out single and Clement's double off the top of the wall in right field.
Dylan Moore worked the final three innings for his eleventh save of the season. UTA (23-21, 9-11) threatened in the ninth when Cox walked with one out and McLemore hit a ball in the gap in left center, sending Cox to third. Mills cut the ball off however and held McLemore to a single and that proved to be a big play as Rohrbaugh hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
In game one, the Cajuns got nine hits, but could only manage one run in a 4-1 loss. McLemore homered off Cajuns' starter Gunner Leger (5-3) to give UTA an early 1-0 lead. The Cajuns tied the game in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Alex Pinero. But UTA came back in the sixth inning when Matt McLean singled and sent to second on R. J. Williams' sacrifice. After Cox flied out, McLean went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Rohrbaugh flare single to tie the game. He later scored on a bloop to right field by Christian Hollie to give UTA the lead for good.
The Cajuns threatened against starter Kadon Simmons (8-3) in the eighth when Clement and Conrad both walked. Stefan Trosclair then greeted reliever Jacob Moreland with a base hit to load the bases. But Moreland got Steven Sensley to hit into a force at the plate and Pinero to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Mills and Sensley each had a pair of hits for the Cajuns in game one, while Cox and McLemore each had two hits for the Mavericks.
The teams will play the rubber game of their series tomorrow at 1pm.