Warhawks Avoid Sweep, Edge Cajuns 7-5
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns were going for the three game road sweep in Monroe on Sunday, but ULM's five run uprising erased an early 3-0 deficit and the Warhawks salvaged the third and final game of the series, defeating the Cajuns 7-5 before 1,502 fans at Warhawk Field in Monroe.
Louisiana (12-8, 2-1 Sun Belt) took a 3-0 lead after a Dylan Butler RBI single in the first and Tyler Girouard's two run double in the second. But ULM (13-8. 1-2) struck back in the bottom of the inning off Cajuns' starter Joe Zimmerman. Zimmerman (0-1) was making his first appearance in three weeks for the Cajuns after suffering a groin injury. He retired the side in order in the first, but ran into trouble in the second inning. Corbin Green led off with a single and after a hit batsman and a walk, Brandon Alexander hit a ground ball that struck Judd Edwards, resulting in the first out. But a wild pitch allowed the first run to score and Logan Fiasco and Les Aulds followed with RBI singles to tie the score. After Jeremy Sy hit into a force play, reliever Jordan Harrison was greeted by a two run double by Joey Rapp to give the Warhawks the lead for good, 5-3.
The Cajuns had numerous chances throughout the game, but left eight runners on base between the third and the eighth inning.
ULM padded its lead with an unearned run in the sixth and another run in the seventh off reliever Cord Cockrell to stretch the lead to 7-3, before the Cajuns finally broke through off releiver Shelby Aulds in the eighth. Chris Sinclair led off the eighth with a single and Brian Bowman walked. With one out, Dylan Butler singled to score Sinclair and Chase Compton's sacrifice fly made it 7-5 before Fraser Adams came in to get out of the inning.
The Cajuns got a two out single in the ninth, but Wil Browning came in to strike out pinch hitter Nick Jones to preserve the win for starter Cale Wine (4-1).
The Cajuns had a season high 15 hits in the game, but stranded 13 base runners. Ryan Leonards led the attack with his second four-hit game of the season. Tyler Girouard added three hits and two RBI, while Butler also had three hits in the game. Butler drove in a run for the ninth time in ten games. His 25 RBI are the best on the ball club.
The loss put the Cajuns at 3-1 for the week and Louisiana will be busy next week with five games on tap. The Cajuns will host Tulane Tuesday night and travel to Natchitoches to play Northwestern State on Saturday before returning home to face Arkansas State in a three game series next weekend at M. L. "Tigue " Moore Field. The visit from Tulane will be the Green Wave's first at the "Tigue" since 2003. Austin Robichaux is scheduled to get the start for the Cajuns.