Mills Powers Louisiana Past Georgia Southern
In the top of the eighth, with his team down by two and on the verge of dropping a three game conference series senior outfielder Brian Mills delivered. With two-outs, Mills launched a grand slam to left propelling Louisiana to a 13-9 victory. The grand slam was Mills’ second big fly of the day.
With the win, Louisiana moves to 21-11 and 10-5 in Sun Belt Conference play.
The comeback was forced in part due to a Cajun implosion in the bottom of the sixth. Louisiana, who held the lead until that point surrendered four runs on only two Eagle hits. Georgia Southern used those two hits along with four free passes, a balk, and one Cajun error to take a 9-7 lead.
On the afternoon, Louisiana committed four errors and allowed seven batters to reach base freely.
Louisiana jumped out to a 6-2 lead after three innings. The Cajuns scored two in the first thanks to a Stefan Trosclair sacrifice fly and Steven Sensley RBI ground out. In the second, Brian Mills delivered a two-run homer and in the third, the Cajuns scored two runs on Brad Antchak’s grounder to second that was booted by Georgia Southern’s Kent Rollins.
The Eagles picked up single runs in the first and third.
Cajun starter Nick Lee, who cruised through the first three innings ran into trouble in the fourth. Lee walked the lead off man and then a Cajun error gave Georgia Southern two-on with nobody out. A bunt then moved the runners to second and third. CJ Ballard’s RBI ground out scored Will Hudgins, giving Lee and the Cajuns two outs. But back-to-back hits, a RBI single followed by a RBI triple put an end to Lee’s day.
Lee lasted just 3.2 innings, he was replaced by fellow freshman Hogan Harris who was able to retire the side without any further damage.
After working a scoreless fifth inning, Harris returned to the mound in the sixth. He then plunked the first two batters forcing Tony Robichaux to bring on Jevin Huval. After a sacrifice bunt, Huval walked Logan Baldwin to the bases with one-out.
Ryan Cleveland then roped a 2 RBI single to tie the game, an error by Huval allowed Baldwin to move to third. After falling behind to Hudgins, Louisiana opted to put him on internally, bringing an end to Huval’s day.
Cajun closer Dylan Moore entered with the hopes of putting a stop to the Eagle rally. Unfortunately for Louisiana, Hunter Thomas had other ideas. Thomas looped a single to center, scoring two, giving Georgia Southern the lead for the first time all afternoon. Moore then retired Rollins and Ballard to end the Eagle inning.
Both ball clubs would go scoreless in the seventh, setting up Brian Mills game winning grand slam in the eighth.
After giving up the single to Thomas in the sixth, Moore would not allow another hit and go on to strike out six Eagles.
The Cajuns added two insurance runs in the ninth thanks to Brenn Conrad’s RBI double to left.
Moore picked up the win for Louisiana after working 3.2 innings in relief. He is now 4-1 on the season.
Louisiana will return home Tuesday to host Tulane, first pitch is scheduled for 6pm.