Cajuns Rally, Defeat Warhawks 12-9
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns offense came through Thursday night against UL Monroe, scoring five times in their final three at bats en route to a 12-9 win over the Warhawks before 3,750 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Greg Davis continued his torrid hitting for the Cajuns with a homer and a triple and knocked in four runs, giving him 12 RBI in his last three games. His triple in the sixth inning tied the game 9-9 and the scored the run that put the Cajuns ahead for good on a Dylan Butler squeeze bunt. Davis was named Player of the week by Louisville Slugger and the Louisiana Sportswriters Association this week after driving in eight runs in two games against South Alabama.
Caleb Adams led the Cajuns 13-hit attack with three singles and two RBI. Chase Compton , Tyler Girouard and Seth Harrison added two hits each, with Harrison scoring three times. Harrison and Butler also knocked in two runs each.
The Warhawks (22-32, 11-17 Sun Belt) jumped on Cajuns' starter Greg Milhorn for six runs in the first three innings and added two more off reliever Riley Cooper before Matt Hicks (6-1) and Ryan Wilson shut down the Warhawks' offense. ULM managed just one unearned run on one hit over the last five innings. Wilson was credited with the save, his seventh of the season. Hicks and Wilson combined to strike out ten over the final 5.2 innings. Cajuns' pitchers had 15 strikeouts on the night.
Dalton Herrington had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Warhawks, while Kodie Tidwell chipped in with two of ULM's eleven hits in the game.
ULM got on the board against Milhorn in the second inning when Herrington led off with a single. Catcher Chet Simoneaux followed with a ground rule double and Herrington scored on a Ross Moore sacrifice fly. Simoneaux scored on Justin Stawychny's double to give ULM a 2-0 lead.
But the Cajuns (47-7, 24-4) came back in their half of the inning when ULM starter Alex Hermeling walked Nick Thurman and Blake Trahan with two outs. Harrison followed with a triple into the gap to tie the game and scored on a wild pitch to give the Cajuns their first lead.
That lead was short lived, however, as ULM came back in the third. With two out, Keelin Rasch singled and Herrington followed with his ninth homer of the season to put the Warhawks back on top. A walk to Simoneaux, a single by Moore and a walk to Stawychny loaded the bases and Jacob Stockton's single drove in two more to end Milhorn's night, trailing 6-3. Louisiana got a couple of runs back in the third when Chase Compton singled with two out and Davis sent a blast over the right center field wall to cut the lead to 6-5. It was Davis' second home run in his last three games.
Kodie Tidwell tripled with one out off Cooper in the fourth inning and scored when Rasch struck out but reached when the ball got by Thurman. Rasch went to third on Herrington's double and scored on a throwing error from the outfield to increase the ULM lead to 8-5.
Again the Cajuns answered when Harrison drew a one out walk. Girouard singled Harrison to third and took second on the throw. Jace Conrad reached on an error with Harrison scoring and Girouard came home on Adams' single to cut the lead to one run.
ULM's final run came off Hicks in the fifth when Stockton reached on an error, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Trent Lucas, which proved to be the last hit of the game for the Warhawks.
Davis' triple over the head of Stockton in right came against reliever Alex Dumaine (3-5) after singles by Adams and Compton, tying the game at nine apiece. Butler's squeeze bunt gave the Cajuns the lead they would not relinquish. Dumaine, the reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the week, gave up four hits and three runs in two innings of work.
Louisiana added insurance runs in the seventh when Harrison scored from second on Adams' infield single and again in the eighth on a mammoth home run over the scoreboard in left center by Butler, his fifth round tripper of the year.
The win was the fourth straight for the Cajuns and their tenth in a row over ULM dating back to last season.
Despite the loss, ULM held on to sixth place in the league with an 11-17 record and moved a step closer to getting a spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Mobile, AL next week.
Game two of the series is Friday night at 6pm at "Tigue" Moore Field. Right hander Chris Hunt (2-4, 5.03) will get the start for the Warhawks. Carson Baranik (9-1) is the scheduled starter for the Cajuns, but is expected to get limited work. Friday's game can be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM.