Trojans Even Series with Cajuns, 7-5
The Troy Trojans scored three runs in the eighth inning and held off a Louisiana ninth inning rally, edging the Cajuns 7-5 to even their weekend Sun Belt series.
"We wanted those late runs to mean something," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We had a chance to get off the field and we didn't turn a double play. We also struck out too many times and took too long to get back in this one."
Austin Crook (4-0) got the win for the Trojans (13=9, 3-2 Sun Belt), allowing just four hits over 8.2 innings. He walked five and notched 14 strikeouts. He was left in to throw 158 pitches in the game.
Louisiana (12-9, 3-2) got on the board in the first inning when Ishmael Edwards was hit by a pitch. Alex Pinero walked with two out and Steven Sensley hit a shot that caromed off Crook and went into left field to give the Cajuns a 1-0 lead. Tremaine Spears then beat out an infield roller to give the Cajuns a 2-0 lead.
Troy got a run back in the second off Cajuns' starter Nick Lee (4-2) on a one out walk, a single by Mack Hathcock and a fielders choice. The Trojans chased Lee in the third inning when Brandon Lockridge doubled with one out and went to third on Trevor Davis' single. A wild pitch scored the first run of the inning and back to back walks loaded the bases. A Joey Denison single gave Troy the lead and a bases loaded walk forced in the third run of the inning.
The Cajuns weren't able to muster anything off Crook in the middle innings, but Cajun reliever Jevin Huval matched Crook by putting up zeroes over 4.2 scoreless innings.
"Jevin did a great job for us," Robichaux said. "What he did was outstanding. He kept us in the game for as long as we could. We just didn't take advantage of that opportunity."
The score was still 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth. but with one out, Hathcock walked. Steven Whittaker then hit a double play ball to second, but it was booted and both runners were safe. The error proved to be costly as an RBI single by Drew Frederic, a walk and a two run single by Brandon Lockridge made it a 7-2 game.
Louisiana rallied in the ninth when Brenn Conrad walked with one out. Hunter Kasuls singled with two out. Crook was finally replaced after reaching 158 pitches and reliever Lance Johnson booted Edwards ground ball to load the bases. Joe Robbins then laced a three run double to the right center field gap. to make the score 7-5. Kennon Fontenot greeted reliever Marc Skinner with a single, putting the tying runs on base, But Skinner, who was saddled with the loss Friday night, struck out Pinero for his sixth save of the season.
The two teams will play the final game of their series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm. Hogan Harris will get the start for the Cajuns, while Loreauville native Evan Hebert will be the starter for Troy. The game will be broadcast on 96.5 KPEL-FM beginning at 12:30.