Cajuns Rally Past Cowboys, 8-5
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns got double digit hits for the 15th time in 28 games this year and came back from a two run deficit in the late innings to defeate McNeese State 8-5 before a crowd of 2,475 at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field Tuesday night.
Louisiana (20-8) had only four hits through the first six innings, but broke through against relievers Tyler Parke (2-1) and Lucas Quary for seven hits and four runs in their final two at bats.
Matt Hicks (3-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Chase Traffica. Seth Harrison struck out the side in the ninth inning for his second save in as many opportunities.
McNeese (17-10) took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh after plating three unearned runs off Traffica in the sixth. With one out, Jackson Gooch reached on a three base error. Traffica got Michael Sullivan to fly out to short center for the second out, but Traffica then walked Connor Lloyd and then gave up a run scoring single to Matt Williams which tied the game at 3-3. Second baseman Hans Ask then tripled to score Lloyd and Williams to complete the three run inning and give the Cowboys a 5-3 lead.
Caleb Adams hit his seventh homer of the season off starter Jason Gibson to cut the lead to 5-4 before the Cajuns broke loose against Parke after the seventh inning stretch.
Jace Conrad started the rally with a single to center and went to second on Dex Kjerstad’s ground ball. Ryan Leonards singled Conrad to third and the Cajuns got the run home on Seth Harrison’s RBI single to tie the game. Tyler Girouard then singled home Leonards to put the Cajuns on top for good and freshman Nick Thurman followed with a run scoring double to give the Cajuns a 7-5 lead. The Cajuns added an insurance run in the eighth on Kjerstad’s single, which scored Conrad. The hit by Girouard extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the best by any Cajun this season.
Kjerstad gave the Cajuns an early 1-0 lead on his second homer of the year leading off the first, but McNeese tied the game on Ask’s sacrifice fly in the second and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Andrew Guillotte.
The Cajuns came back in their half of the fifth inning when Chase Compton walked, Blake Trahan singled and Conrad walked to load the bases. After Kjerstad popped up, Ryan Leonards laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score Compton and Trahan scored when the barehand attempt to field the bunt failed. That gave the Cajuns a 3-2 lead before McNeese rallied in the sixth.
The Cajuns are now 16-2 at home this season and will entertain Troy in a three game Sun Belt series this weekend. Gametimes are 6pm Friday, 6pm Saturday and 1pm Sunday.