Cajuns’ Hit Parade Sinks Northwestern State, 10-8
Freshman second baseman Jace Conrad laced a three-run homer to highlight a seven-run third inning to power Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns to a 10-8 win over Northwestern State Wednesday night at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Trailing 3-1 entering the third inning, the Cajuns (17-19) strung together seven hits to take a commanding lead. Third baseman Jordan Bourque started the inning with a base hit. Then, with runners at first and second and one out, Ryan Leonards had an infield hit to load the bases. Chase Compton and Tyler Frederick each drove in runs with singles and Almann Snowden’s sacrifice fly drove in the third run of the inning. Conrad then hit his first collegiate home run over the right field wall off left-hander Jamie Bittle to give the Cajuns a 7-3 lead. A Daniel Nichols double and Bourque’s second hit of the inning scored the final run.
Kendall Mayer (1-0) did a masterful job in the middle innings, allowing no runs and no hits in the three innings he worked to notch his first win as a Cajun.
But, the Cajuns’ bats went quiet as well, and Northwestern (14-20) got back into the game with a three run seventh inning off lefty Ben Frith, who was making his Cajuns’ debut. Freshman Cord Cockrell got out of the seventh, but gave up a run in the eighth on a wild pitch to cut the Cajuns’ lead to 8-7.
But the Cajuns got two big insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth off Carson Goldsmith, the seventh Demons pitcher of the night. Logan Preston led off the inning with a walk and with one out, Brian Bowman singled and Leonards got his second infield hit of the night. Then, with two out, Dylan Butler laced a single to left to score two runs and give the Cajuns a 10-7 lead.
Matt Hicks gave up a run in the ninth, but notched his fourth save of the season.
The Demons got a run in the first inning off Cajuns’ starter Austin Robichaux on a run scoring single by Nick Hinojos. The Cajuns tied it on Snowden’s double and a groundout by Conrad before the Demons took the 3-1 lead with two runs off freshman Henri Faucheux before the big rally.
The seven run inning was the first for the Cajuns since March 23rd, when the Cajuns put up seven runs in the eighth inning en route to a 9-2 win over Arkansas State. Ironically, that was also the last time the Cajuns homered in a game. Dylan Butler, like Conrad on Wednesday, had a three run homer to highlight that inning.
The fourteen hits by the Cajuns were the most since getting fifteen in a losing effort against Louisiana-Monroe back on March 18th and the ten runs were the most since scoring eleven against Southern Mississippi back on March 9th.
Louisiana gets back into the conference wars this weekend with a three-game series against rival South Alabama. Games are scheduled for 6:30 Friday and Saturday night and 1pm Sunday afternoon. All three games will be heard on 96.5 KPEL. Friday and Saturday games will also be heard on ESPN1420.