Cajuns Eighth Inning Rally Tops Bobcats, 8-7
On a night when Gunner Leger proved to be human, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns still found a way to win on Friday night.
Jonathan Ortega's two out throwing error allowed Steven Sensley to score what proved to be the winning run in the eighth inning as Louisiana got two runs in the frame to defeat Texas State 8-7 in the opening of their three game series at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
Trailing 7-6 going into the bottom of the eighth, Brenn Conrad legged out an infield hit with one out in the eighth inning off Connor Reich (2-5) and scored when Sensley doubled off the right center field wall. Joe Robbins was walked intentionally and Kennon Fontenot walked to load the bases. Brad Antchak then lined out to Ortega, but the throw to try to double Fontenot off first base was off line, allowing Sensley to score.
Leger, who had only given up two runs at home all season, was touched for seven hits and five runs over five innings and left the game with the score tied 5-5.
"Tonight Gunner didn't have it but it just showed how dominant he's been all season, head coach Tony Robichaux said. "He's picked us up all year and tonight our guys were on the bench telling him it was their turn to pick him up. I give our hitters credit for getting it done."
The Cajuns took the lead in the sixth inning when Zach Lafleur doubled, stole third and scored on Robbins' second triple of the game. But Texas State touched reliever Wyatt Marks for a pair of eighth inning home runs from catcher Felipe Rodriguez and center fielder Derek Scheible to put the Bobcats (24-26,10-15 Sun Belt) out in front.
Dylan Moore (2-1) retired all five batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts to get the win in relief.
Texas State scored a run on a safety squeeze bunt by Jacob Almendarez to give Texas State an early 1-0 lead, but Louisiana (31-19-1, 15-9-1) came back in the bottom of the inning off Texas State starter Wes Engle. Antchak blooped a leadoff single and Alex Pinero reached on an error. Tyler Stover walked to load the bases and Antchak scored on a wild pitch. Handsome Monica walked to reload the bases. Brandon Lewis came on in relief and got Lafleur on a force out at home. But Conrad walked to tie the game and Sensley's line single gave the Cajuns a 3-1 lead.
Scheible's RBI single got the Bobcats within a run win the fourth, but Louisiana answered back on Robbins' first triple of the game, scoring Conrad and Sensley for a 5-2 Cajuns lead. But the lead was short lived as Luke Sherley hit his first homer of the year, a three run shot to tie the game at 5-5.
Robbins' two triples broke an 0-15 slump and gave him three RBI's on the night, while Sensley drove in two and scored twice. Lafleur was the other Cajun with two hits in the contest.
Scheible, Dylan Paul and Rodriguez each had two hits for the Bobcats.
The two teams will meet Saturday at 6:00 pm in game two of their series. The nine Cajuns' seniors will be honored before the game.