Cajuns Come Back Twice to Take Two From Warhawks
Tony Robichaux says if you're going to be a champion, you have to find different ways to win.
Well, that regularly scheduled game against UL Monroe Friday night sure was different.
The Ragin' Cajuns got an RBI double from Stefan Trosclair in the eleventh inning to take a 6-5 win over the Warhawks after coming from behind to win the suspended game from Thursday, 8-2.
Hunter Kasuls drew a leadoff walk off Warhawks' reliever Anthony Herrera (1-4) to open the inning. Joe Robbins laid down a sacrifice and Kyle Clement was walked intentionally. Troslclair then drilled a pitch into the left-center field gap for his third extra base hit of the night.
"He came through like a senior All-American should," head coach Tony Robichaux said. He's been hitting the ball the last couple of weeks like he did down the stretch last year and we need him."
With the win, the Cajuns (36-19, 20-9 Sun Belt) moved within one game of first place after Troy's 4-2 win over South Alabama. ULM (20-34, 10-19) was eliminated from Sun Belt Conference Tournament contention with the loss and will end their season tomorrow. The Cajuns have now beaten the Warhawks 18 straight times.
The Cajuns got a home run from freshman Hunter Kasuls, the first of his career leading off the game, but ULM came back against Cajuns' starter Nick Lee in the second. Josh Faciane homered to left with one out and Dalton Todd walked. Cade Stone singled Todd to third and he scored on a wild pitch to give ULM a 2-1 lead.
The Cajuns tied the game in the second against starter Brayden Bouchey on a triple by Kennon Fontenot and a wild pitch, but the Warhawks re-took the lead in the fourth. when Nathan Reynolds walked and Faciane greeted reliever Hogan Harris with a single. Todd flied out but Stone doubled home a run and Herrera's sacrifice fly gave ULM a 4-2 lead.
The Cajuns got the equalizer in the fifth when Robbins singled and, one out later, Trosclair tripled to center and scored on a wild pitch, knotting the game at 4-4.
ULM nearly took the lead off reliever Will Bacon in the sixth when Stone led off with a walk and Herrera sacrificed him to second. Nathan Pugh flied out and Jacob Stockton singled to center. Kyle Clement threw a perfect strike to home plate to get Stone and keep the score tied.
The Cajuns got the lead in the seventh on a two out single by Brenn Conrad in the seventh, scoring Robbins, who had led off the inning with a single. But the Warhawks came back against Dylan Moore when Herrera walked with one out and went to second on Nathan Pugh's single. Jacob Stockton's double scored Herrera and sent Pugh to third. After an intentional walk, Moore got Brian Barefoot and Nathan Reynolds on called third strikes to end the inning. Reynolds was ejected for arguing the third strike call, as was catcher Dalton Todd.
Jevin Huval (2-1), the fifth Cajuns' pitcher, allowed two singles in the tenth, but struck out Blake Buckman to end that threat and retired the Warhawks in order in the 11th. Huval did not walk a batter and struck out three. Cajuns' pitchers struck out a total of sixteen batters, as the Warhawks stranded 17 base runners in the contest.
"That's the way he looked at the beginning of the season," Robichaux said of Huval. He really had good command tonight of that breaking ball and when he does, he's awfully tough."
Robbins, Trosclair and Fontenot each had three hits for the Cajuns, while Stockton had four hits for ULM. Stone added three hits and three other players had two apiece as ULM stroked 16 hits in the game.
In the suspended game, the Cajuns got to reliever Keller Bradford (2-3) in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Steven Sensley and a single by Kennon Fontenot to take a 2-1 lead, the put the game away in the sixth on a two out, two run double by Conrad, a two run homer from Sensley off reliever Brandon Bell and Nick Thurman's RBI double.
Eric Carter (4-2) threw 4.1 innings of relief. He started the day with runners at second and third and two outs and retired Stockton on a ground ball. He did not allow a base runner, retiring eleven straight until giving up two hits and a run in the ninth. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Tomorrow the Cajuns will go for the three game sweep, sending Evan Guillory to the mound. The Cajuns will honor their eight seniors prior to the game, as well as graduates Nick Zaunbrecher, Kyle Clement, Eric Carter and former pitcher Greg Milhorn. Ceremonies should start around 2:40 with the first pitch scheduled for 3pm.