Georgia Southern Even Series with Cajuns, 6-5
Louisiana head baseball coach Tony Robichaux has always said the secret to pitching is to stay away from the three run inning.
Saturday night, it happened...twice.
Georgia Southern scored three runs in the third inning and three more in the sixth to take a 6-5 win over the Ragin Cajuns before a paid crowd of 4,954 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
Logan Baldwin led off the sixth inning with a single for the Eagles off Cajuns' starter Colten Schmidt (1-1). With one out, Jordan Wren singled off reliever Evan Guillory and C. J. Brazil followed with a base hit to give Georgia Southern (31-16, 14-9 Sun Belt) the lead for good. After a groundout and an intentional walk, Tyler Martin singled to center to drive home two more runs and give the Eagles a 6-3 lead.
"We made a couple of bad pitches at critical times," Robichaux said. "We had a couple of miss sliders that we hung and, as a team that doesn't score a lot of runs, we just have to pitch better than that."
The Cajuns (28-18-1, 14-8-1 Sun Belt) got two of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Brenn Conrad and a throwing error, but reliever Connor Simmons got Tyler Stover to ground out with two men on to keep the score 6-5.
Landon Hughes pitched two scoreless frames to get his sixth save of the season. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
The Eagles got to Schmidt in the third inning when Wren led off with a double and scored on Steven Curry's single. Ryan Cleveland then homered to right field, his twelfth of the season, to give Georgia Southern a 3-0 lead.
But the Cajuns came right back against starter Chase Cohen (4-3) in the bottom of the inning when Zach Lafleur led off with a walk and Conrad was hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Steven Sensley then homered to the opposite field to tie the game. It was Sensley's team-leading ninth home run of the season.
The loss was especially costly as center fielder Ishmael Edwards had to leave the game after stealing second base in the first inning. Robichaux said Edwards fractured his thumb on the headfirst slide and is likely lost for the season. Lafleur was 1-3 with a pair of runs scored in Edwards' spot in the lineup.
The rubber game of the three game series is slated for 12;00 noon on Sunday. Sophomore Hogan Harris will start for the Cajuns. He will be opposed by freshman right hander Seth Shuman.