Zeigler Leads ULM Over Cajuns, 8-2
All season long, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns have struggled against good left-handed pitching and Thursday night they ran into one of the league’s best lefties.
Randy Zeigler pitched a complete game five-hitter and Louisiana-Monroe’s bats came alive in the third and fourth innings as ULM downed the Cajuns 8-2 in game one of their three game series at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Zeigler (5-6), threw 132 pitches on the night and struck out nine as the Warhawks moved to within one win of clinching a berth in the Sun Belt Tournament in Bowling Green Kentucky next week.
The Warhawks (26-27, 13-15 Sun Belt) got all the runs they would need in the third inning off Cajuns starter Jordan Nicholson (3-7). Designated hitter Corben Green got the first run home with a single and after Judd Edwards was hit by a pitch to load the bases, center fielder Brandon Alexander cleared the bases with a single to right with a 3-2 count and two outs.
Cajuns’ catcher Chris Sinclair led off the bottom of the inning with his fifth homer of the year to get the Cajuns on the board, but ULM’s Les Aulds answered with a homer of his own to get the run right back and finish Nicholson’s night after 3.1 innings. Reliever Cord Cockrell came in but fared no better as the Warhawks scored three more times in the inning with a triple by first baseman Joey Rapp and another hit by Green the big blows.
That made it 8-1 and Zeigler allowed only Jordan Bourque’s solo homer in the sixth the rest of the way. It was the senior shortstop’s first career home run.
Lefty Jordan Harrison was one of the only bright spots for the Cajuns (23-28, 11-17), as he pitched five shutout innings in relief, scattering three hits.
Left handed hitters were the difference in the game against the Cajuns right handed pitching as Aulds, Green, Caleb Clowers and Alexander combined to go 8-10 with seven RBI in the contest. Clowers had three hits and increased hit hitting streak to 21 games.
The Cajuns must win the final two games of the series in order to qualify for the conference tournament. Left hander Chris Griffitt will get the start for the Cajuns in Friday’s second game of the series.. He will be opposed by right hander Cale Wine for ULM. Game time is 6pm.