Cajuns’ Big Inning Key in Opening Night Win
It's no secret the biggest issue facing Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns baseball team a year ago was a problem scoring runs. And, for head coach Tony Robichaux, adding more offense was a big priority.
That new offense came through in a big way, as the Cajuns broke open a close game with a seven-run sixth inning as Louisiana downed Central Michigan 12-6 in the season opener for both teams.
The Cajuns unleashed a 14-hit attack, including seven doubles en route to the win in front ofr 2,209 fans at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
The Cajuns got an RBI double from Sam Carriere to get on the board in the second inning and added two more in the third on an RBI single by Michael Strentz and a passed ball. But the Chippewas came back to tie the game in the fifth inning off starter Chase Traffica on a walk, a hit batsman and a three run homer by Nick Regnier to the the game at 3-3.
But the Cajuns took advantage of some wildness on the part of CMU pitching to break the tie in the bottom of the inning. Seth Harrison led off the inning with a double, one of four hits on the night. Jace Conrad Walked, as did Strentz to load the bases with none out. Reliever Blake Louscher uncorked a wild pitch to score Harrison, and Conrad scored on a passed ball to make it 5-3.
Then the Cajuns bats came alive.
Dylan Butler led off the Cajuns' sixth with a double off Joe Ucho. Harrison laid down a bunt single and Conrad drove in a run with a double to make it 6-3. Strentz followed with a double of his own to knock in two more runs. Chase Compton walked and Ryan Wilson lay down a bunt single to load the bases. Ryan Leonards walked to force in a run and Butler uncorked his second double of the inning to clear the bases and blow the game open.
Cord Cockrell (1-0) pitched 4.1 innings in relief, striking out seven. He allowed a run in the eighth inning, and then two more on Regnier's second homer of the game in the ninth.
Matt Trowbridge (0-1), the CMU starter, took the loss.
Harrison would up with four hits in the game. Strentz added three, while Butler had two.
The two teams will square off in a doubleheader Saturday at 2pm. Left hander Cody Bouttee will start game one for the Cajuns, while Austin Robichaux will get the start in the nightcap.