Cajuns Trip Texas State to Advance to Sun Belt Finals
Reliever Matt Plitt got the Cajuns out of some eighth inning trouble and stranded the tying run on base in the ninth as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns advanced to their second straight Sun Belt Conference championship game, eliminating 4th seed Texas State 4-3 at Stanky Field in Mobile, AL.
Plitt entered the game after Texas State had scored two runs to get within 4-3 and runners at the corners. His first pitch to Austin O'Neal was hit to shortstop Blake Trahan, who stepped on the bag and threw to Chase Compton to complete the double play and end the inning.
Plitt, who was the winning pitcher in Wednesday's tournament opener against UL Monroe, allowed a one out double in the ninth to Tanner Hill, but got Tyler Pearson and pinch hitter Colby Targun to fly to Caleb Adams in left field for his fourth save of the season.
Cody Boutte (8-0) threw an even 100 pitches in seven-plus innings to get the win. He allowed five hits and two runs with two walks and one strikeout. It was Boutte's second win over the Bobcats (30-28) this season.
Louisiana (52-7) got on the board against Dylan Bein (1-5) in the second inning when Caleb Adams hit a one-out homer to left field. With two out, Kyle Clement hit a ground ball that was booted by first baseman O'Neal. Michael Strentz followed with a grounder that was muffed by third baseman Tanner Hill. Blake Trahan then tripled into the left-center gap to give the Cajuns a 3-0 lead.
Texas State got on the board against Boutte in the third when Cody Perkins doubled with one out. Boutte then committed a balk to move the runner to third and walked Cory Geisler. Cody Lovejoy then grounded to short with Perkins scoring on the play.
The Cajuns got that run back in the sixth when Adams singled with one out and Chase Compton doubled into the gap to make the score 4-1.
The Cajuns had other chances to score. Trahan was thrown out trying to steal home to end the second inning and was thrown out again at the plate attempting to score on a short fly ball hit by Seth Harrison. Trahan led off the seventh with a triple, but the Cajuns grounded out to short three straight times with the infield playing in to end that threat.
In the eighth, Perkins led off with a single that ended Boutte's day. Reliever Ryan Wilson got Geisler on a fly ball to right, but hit Lovejoy and gave up a run scoring double to Garrett Mattlage. A wild pitch scored Lovejoy and moved Mattlage to third. Granger Studdard walked to load the bases, bringing on Plitt, who got the Cajuns out of trouble
Bein gave up five hits and four runs, only two earned over 5.1 innings. Reliever Hunter Lemke allowed two hits in 3.2 innings of relief.
Adams had three hits and scored two runs for the Cajuns, who moved to 9-2 in one run games. Trahan had two hits and two rbi. Perkins and David Paiz each had two hits for Texas State as both teams were limited to seven hits in the game.
Louisiana will play either UT Arlington or Arkansas State in the finals Sunday at 1pm. The game will be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM beginning at 12:30.