Cajuns’ Bats Stay Silent in 2-1 Loss to FIU
Nathan Burns’ two-out double in the fifth inning scored Oscar Aguirre with what turned out to be the winning run as FIU took the first game of the three game Sun Belt Conference series over Louisiana, 2-1.
The Cajuns, who have struggled to hit and score runs over the last ten games, saw their bats go quiet again as they managed only two hits off three FIU pitchers.
Louisiana (15-18, 5-8 Sun Belt) took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on two FIU errors and a run-scoring double by freshman Dylan Butler. But the Cajuns would only manage one more hit the rest of the night, that being in infield hit by shortstop Ryan Leonards.
FIU (20-13, 8-5) got the run back in the fourth when reigning SBC Player of the Week Jabari Henry hit his eighth homer of the year, this one off the foul pole in left field against hard-luck loser Jordan Nicholson (3-4). Then in the fifth, Aguirre had a one out double before Burns’ game winner.
The Cajuns squandered opportunities in the third and eighth innings. In the third, Nick Jones led off with a walk and Brian Bowman’s sacrifice was misplayed by winning pitcher Mason McVay (2-2). Leonards was then called out on a close play on a sacrifice, moving the runners to second and third. But McVay got Butler to pop up and after walking Tyler Frederick intentionally to load the bases, got Chase Compton on a ground ball to end the threat.
In the eighth, Leonards walked which ended McVay’s night after tying his season high of seven innings pitched. Reliever Eddy Pidermann walked Butler to put runners at first and second. Frederick’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, but Pidermann struck out Compton and got pinch hitter Tyler Girouard on a grounder to second.
Left-hander Michael Gomez got the Cajuns in order in the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
The lack of hitting spoiled an outstanding performance by Nicholson, who allowed just five hits through seven innings. Nicholson got sixteen ground ball outs. He departed after a leadoff walk in the eighth. Freshman Cord Cockrell came in and retired all six men he faced, four on strikeouts.
The Cajuns will try again Saturday, sending lefty Chris Griffitt to the mound. The game will get underway at 6:05, with pregame beginning on 96.5 KPEL-FM beginning at 5:35.