Cajuns Down Georgia State in 11 Innings, 6-4
Friday night, Georgia State used a squeeze bunt to defeat the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns in 12 innings.
On Saturday, the Cajuns returned the favor, and it was doubly sweet.
Freshman Jonathan Windham perfectly executed squeeze bunt scored both Zach Lafleur and Marco Ramos as the Cajuns defeated the Panthers 6-4 in eleven innings at the GSU Baseball Complex in Decatur, GA.
Lafleur led off the eleventh with a single to right against Panthers' reliever Brandon Baker. Ramos bunted and Baker tried to get Lafleur at second but threw low and both runners were safe. Kole McKinnon bunted the runners 90 feet closer and Windham, on a 1-0 pitch from reliever Liam Henry, bunted the ball between the mound and first base and both runners scored as Henry threw to first.
Georgia State (21-21, 7-12 Sun Belt) tried to rally in the bottom of the inning against Cajuns' closer Logan Stoelke (3-0) when Jack Thompson drew a one out walk and Will Kilgore doubled up the gap in right center. But Thompson was gunned down on a perfect relay from Daniel Lahare to Hunter Kasuls to McKinnon for the second out and Stoelke then got Kalen Puckett on a ground ball to shortstop to end it.
Louisiana (25-20, 11-10) got on the board in the second inning against Panthers' starter Jake Rogers when Kennon Fontenot walked, went to second on Lafleur's sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. McKinnon then delivered an RBI single to give Louisiana the early 1-0 lead.
Georgia State took the lead in the fourth against Cajuns' starter Hogan Harris when Ryan Glass doubled with one out and Luke Leonard doubled him home. Romero Greer's single plated Leonard to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. They made it 3-1 in the fifth on an RBI double by Kilgore and carried the lead into the eighth.
In the eighth, reliever Will White walked Hayden Cantrelle with one out and Cantrelle advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by catcher Nick Gatewood. Gavin Bourgeois' double plated Cantrelle and a pair of wild pitches scored Bourgeois with the tying run. Kasuls then greeted reliever Bryan White with a homer to right, his third of the season, to give the Cajuns the lead.
Stoelke came on in the eighth and retired the Panthers, but walked Brandon Bell to start the ninth. Jack Thompson sacrificed Bell to second and with two out, Puckett hit a grounder that Windham made a diving stop on, but dropped the ball on his attempted throw to first. Luke Leonard then hit a ball that ricocheted off Stoelke toward Kasuls, who bobbled the ball allowing the tying run to score.
Rogers overcame some early wildness to pitch seven strong innings, allowing just two hits. He walked five and struck out three. Harris, meanwhile, stranded eleven baserunners in his six innings of work, giving up three runs on nine hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Michael Leaumont pitched the seventh before Stoelke came in for the final four innings. The senior, who had missed two and a half weeks because of a pulled groin, gave up three hits and one run with three walks and four strikeouts.
The rubber game of the series will be Sunday at noon. Pregame on 96.5 KPEL-FM begins at 11:30 am.