Harrison’s Walk Off in 14th Gives Cajuns Sweep of Warhawks
UL Monroe tied the game against the third-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the ninth inning with Seth Harrison on the mound.
But the Cajuns’ center fielder got his redemption.
Harrison’s single to right field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th inning was the game winner as Louisiana (49-7) tied the school record for wins in a season with a 6-5 win over the Warhawks before 4,302 at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
The win moves the Cajuns (49-7, 26-4 Sun Belt) into a rematch with 8th seeded ULM in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Wednesday at 12:30 at Eddie Stanky Field in Mobile. The Warhawks clinched a berth in the tournament earlier in the day with UALR lost to Arkansas State.
Harrison, who received his degree at home plate along with Tyler Girouard, Chris Griffitt, Matt Plitt and Matt HIcks, delivered his game winner on the first pitch he saw from reliever Tyler Bray (8-5), scoring Michael Strentz from third base.
Strentz led off the 14th win a single and moved to second on a Chase Compton sacrifice. After Blake Trahan was walked intentionally, Ryan Leonards was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Harrison’s heroics.
Bray had allowed just three hits in seven innings of relief before the 14th.
ULM had tied the score against Harrison in the ninth when Jacob Stockton walked and was sacrificed to second by Cody Stone. A wild pitch moved pinch runner Vincent Dellocono to third. Harrison struck out Trent Lucas, but Dellacono scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at five apiece.
The Cajuns turned to youth in their bullpen in the extra frames, as freshmen Riley Cooper and Chris Charpentier each threw a pair of scoreless innings. Martin Anderson (1-0) pitched a scoreless 14th.
ULM (22-24, 11-19 Sun Belt) got on the board in the first inning on back to back doubles by Keelin Rasch and Chet Simoneaux. But the Cajuns took the lead in the bottom of the inning against starter Chad Miller on an infield single by Greg Davis, followed by bunt singles by Ryan Wilson and Strentz. Compton and Trahan delivered sacrifice flies to give the Cajuns a 2-1 lead. ]
Louisiana increased its lead in the third when Harrison singled and was sacrificed to second by Girouard. Jace Conrad’s double plated Harrison and, after Conrad stole third, Davis delivered the Cajuns’ NCAA leading 40th sacrifice fly of the season to make the score 4-1.
ULM fought back against Cajuns’ starter Cody Boutte in the fourth on back to back doubles by Ross Moore and Stockton to make it 4-2 before Strentz delivered his ninth home run of the season and second of the series to increase the lead to 5-2. Five of Strentz’ homers have been against Warhawks pitching.
ULM got single runs off reliever Ben Carter in the fifth and sixth to get the Warhawks within one run and the score remained 5-4 until the ninth.
Bray entered the game in the seventh and didn’t allow a runner to get into scoring position until the 12rh when Harrison walked with two out and stole second. The Cajuns failed to get the lead man on base from the fifth until Strentz’ single in the 14th.
Keelin Rasch had five hits to lead the Warhawks, who outhit the Cajuns 14-13. Moore added three hits for ULM.
Strentz had three hits to lead the Cajuns, while Harrison chipped in a pair.
The seedings and pairings for the first day of the tournament are as follows:
9:00 am #5 Western Kentucky vs. #4 Texas State
12:30 pm #8 UL Monroe vs. #1 Louisiana
4:00 pm #6 Troy vs. #3 Arkansas State
7:30 pm #7 South Alabama vs. #2 UT Arlington