Cajuns Snap Losing Streak, Beat WKU 1-0
Ten days ago Adam Todd was a normal college student.
Today, he's a feel-good baseball story.
Todd, who rejoined Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns baseball team last Thursday, made two crucial defensive plays in the ninth inning and set up the game's only run with a sacrifice bunt as the Cajuns snapped an eight game losing streak by beating Western Kentucky 1-0 at M. L. Tigue Moore Field.
Todd's sacrifice bunt came in the third inning after Daniel Nichols opened the inning with a walk. Jace Conrad then pushed a bunt past losing pitcher Tim Bado for a single. Todd then executed the bunt that moved the runners into scoring position and set the table for Brian Bowman's sacrifice fly to score Nichols with the only run of the game.
Chris Griffitt (4-2) stymied the Hilltoppers (13-18, 5-6 Sun Belt) over 6.1 innings, his longest outing of the season. Griffitt walked two (one intentionally) a tied his career best with eight strikeouts to get the win. Griffitt exited the game with one out and a man at first after developing a blood blister. Caleb Kellogg, who missed the last two weekends with soreness in his rotator cuff, came in from the bullpen and struck out Steve Hodgins and Ivan Hartle to end the inning.
Kellogg, who earned his third save of the season, allowed a pair of two-out baserunners, but struck out David Simmons to end the threat.
Then in the ninth, Kellogg Walked Blake Crabtree to open the inning. Pinch hitter Jordan Cessna bunted back to the mound, but Kellogg threw wild to second base, allowing Crabtree to go to third. Hodgins then bunted in a safety squeeze attempt, but Kellogg threw to Todd to get the first out and the redshirt sophomore then threw a bullet to third base to get Cessna trying to advance for a double play.
But Todd wasn't finished. With Hartle at the plate, Hodgins tried to steal second but the Carencro High product threw another strike to get Hodgins and end the crazy ninth inning.
Todd was added to the Cajuns' roster after Michael Strentz went down with an elbow injury, necessitating Tommy John surgery. Todd played for the Cajuns in 2010, but gave up the sport to concentrate on academics. The Cajuns only had 34 on their roster, which enabled Todd to join the club as a roster addition.
Chris Sinclair, who started the first 28 games behind the plate has been sidelined by back spasms. Friday night was Todd's first career start.
The Cajuns (14-16, 4-7 SBC) could manage only five hits off Bado, who took the hard luck loss despite pitching a complete game. After giving up the run in the third, Bado cruised until the seventh when the Cajuns threatened. Dylan Butler led off the inning with a single and Chase Compton sacrificed him to second. Logan Preston then singled to left, moving Butler to third. But Bado got Nichols looking and Conrad on a grounder to end the threat.
Bado walked only one but that one cost him as Nichols scored the game's only run. Bado struck out eight.
Griffitt and Kellogg combined to strike out twelve Hilltoppers.
Louisiana will go for the series win tomorrow when they face WKU in a 1pm Easter Sunday start. Neither coach has named a starting pitcher, but it is believed the Cajuns will start lefty Jordan Harrison.