Cajuns Bats Come Alive Against Red Wolves,11-4
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns scored seven runs in the first three innings and carried a 13-hit attack to an 11-4 win over the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the opener of their three game Sun Belt Conference series at M. L. “Tigue”: Moore Field.
Louisiana (32-15, 13-9 Sun Belt) got to ASU ace David Wright for nine hits in the first three innings and never trailed, as Austin Robichaux pitched seven strong innings to keep the Red Wolves (24-22, 10-12) from rallying.
The Cajuns got to Wright in the first inning as Dex Kjerstad led off by hitting Wright’s first pitch into right field for a single, one of his three hits on the night. After a Ryan Leonards ground out moved Kjerstad to second, Seth Harrison singled to get the Cajuns on the board. Harrison scored on Blake Trahan’s two out single to make it 2-0..
The Cajuns got three more in the second as Michael Strentz was hit by a pitch and moved to third on Kjerstad’s second hit. After Kjerstad stole second, Leonards laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Strentz and Kjerstad to make it 4-0. Leonards scored on Tyler Girouard’s two out double off the first base bag to give the Cajuns a three run inning.
Arkansas State got on the board in the third inning when Alex Potts singled with one out. Dustin Jones then tripled off the left field wall to make the score 5-1. Cajuns’ left fielder Dylan Butler was injured on the play running into the wall and left the game with a cut over his left eye that required stitches. Jones scored on Collin Massanelli’s single to make the score 5-2.
But the Cajuns immediately answered in the bottom of the inning as Jace Conrad reached on a fielders choice and moved to third on Kjerstad’s third hit. Conrad scored on a wild pitch and Leonards then delivered a run scoring single to make the score 7-2.
Wright (5-4) settled down after that, giving up a run in the fifth on a triple by Strentz and a sacrifice fly by Conrad.
Arkansas State got a pair of runs off Austin Robichaux (7-2) in the seventh on a two out single by Potts, an RBI double by Jones and a single by Massanelli to make the score 8-4.
But in the bottom of the inning, Jace Conrad’s two out, three run homer to right field, his second of the season, rounded out the scoring.
Robichaux allowed eight hits and four runs over seven innings of work. It was the first time the lanky right hander allowed more than two earned runs in a start at “Tigue” Moore Field. He walked one and struck out six. Ryan Wilson and Ben carter each pitched a perfect inning to close out the win. With the win, Robichaux joined teammate Cody Boutte and Troy’s Shane McCain as the only seven game winners in the SBC.
Wright gave up 13 hits and eleven earned runs, easily the most he’s given up all season. Wright had a 2.79 ERA going into the game.
Kjerstad and Trahan each had three hits apiece for the Cajuns. Leonards added two with two RBI. Conrad’s four RBI gave him 20 on the season, making him the ninth Cajuns player with at least 20 RBI.
The Cajuns host the Red Wolves in game two of the series Saturday at 6:05pm.