Cajuns Outlast Northwestern State in 12, 8-6
Alex Pinero's two run homer highlighted a three run 12th inning as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns defeated Northwestern State, 8-6 Tuesday night at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches.
Freshman Caleb Armstrong came on in the tenth inning and pitched two scoreless innings before giving up an unearned run in the twelfth. Senior Chris Charpentier put out a fire in the bottom of the twelfth in notching his first save of the season.
The Cajuns (4-3) opened the scoring in the fifth inning when Joe Robbins doubled and was singled home by Kennon Fontenot. Louisiana added two runs in the sixth on a pair of walks, a wild pitch, and sacrifice flies by Steven Sensley and Handsome Monica for a 3-0 bulge.
"I thought our hitters did an exceptional job tonight," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "I believer the more pitching they see, the better they'll get."
The Demons got an unearned run off reliever Wyatt Marks in the bottom of the sixth on a double and an error to cut the lead to 3-1. But the Cajuns got the run back on a Brenn Conrad RBI single in the seventh and added a run in the eighth when Sensley was hit by a pitch, Pinero singled and Robbins RBI groundout.
Northwestern State began their comeback in the eighth on a two out two run single off reliever Colton Lee and tied it in the ninth against Cajuns' relief ace Dylan Moore on another two out two run single.
Armstrong came on in the tenth and retired six of seven hitters in his first two innings. That held the Demons at bay until the top of the 12th when Todd Lott was hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Zach Lafleur moved to second on a wild pitch and scored from second on another wild pitch. Monica walked and one out later, Pinero unloaded with his homer to left center for what proved to be the game winner.
Hogan Harris was the starting pitcher for the Cajuns and didn't allow a hit through five innings, allowing just two baserunners on a pair of walks. He struck out eight in his five innings of work.
"Hogan got us off to a great start tonight and we just didn't hold the lead. We have to get rid of leadoff walks," Robichaux said.
The Cajuns have their home opener Friday night against Southern Mississippi at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park. Game time is set for 6 pm.