Eastern Illinois Spoils Cajuns’ Opener 5-1
Jake Johansmeier allowed just three hits over six innings and Eastern Illinois took advantage of a passed ball and two Louisiana errors to trip the #14 Cajuns, 5-1 before an opening night crowd of 3,718 at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Johansmeier (1-0) allowed just three singles, two of them coming in the fifth inning. He walked three and struck out four. Joe Greenfield pitched two hitless innings to earn the save.
Austin Robichaux (0-1) took the loss for the Cajuns, allowing eight hits and three runs, only one earned, over five innings of work.
The Panthers (1-0) scored an unearned run in the fourth inning when, with one out, Caleb Howell singled, one of three hits for the EIU center fielder on the night. Demetre Takmylor followed with a hit and Brent Valach was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Howell to score before Robichaux struck out Frankie Perrone and Adam Casson to avoid further damage.
EIU got two more runs in the fifth inning when Jacob Reese opened with a single and was sacrificed to second by Marshawn Taylor. Mitch Gasbarro then reached on Ryan Leonards’ throwing error, sending Reese to third. The Panthers then got consecutive hits by Jason Scholl, Howell and Taylor to plate two runs before Robichaux induced a double play ball off the bat of Valach to end the inning.
The Cajuns (0-1) had a threat in the fifth when Tyler Girouard singled to left, Caleb Adams walked and Blake Trahan singled to load the bases. But Johansmeier struck out Dylan Butler and got Seth Harrison to pop up with the infield fly rule in effect. Valach failed to catch the pop fly and Girouard was thrown out trying to score to squander an opportunity.
The Panthers got another unearned run off reliever Matt Plitt in the seventh when Scholl walked, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on an error by Trahan.
The Cajuns countered in their half of the seventh inning when Michael Strentz was hit by a pitch and Tyler Girouard singled. Reliever Garrison Stenger came in and got Caleb Adams on a bunt to third with the runners advancing. Trahan then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Strentz.
The Panthers got a final run in the ninth off freshman left hander Riley Cooper on a double by Gasbarro, a sacrifice and a single by Howell.
EIU wound up with twelve hits in the game, with eight of them coming in the middle three innings.
The two teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 12:00 noon. Airtime on NewsTalk 96.5 KPEL will be at 11:30am.