Cajuns Can’t Close the Deal Against Little Rock
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns led by two runs going into the ninth inning, but couldn't hold the lead and ultimately fell to Little Rock 9-7 in eleven innings Sunday at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
The win put the Trojans (21-17, 10-7 Sun Belt) back into first place in the Sun Belt West Division while the Cajuns (22-19, 10-8) fell one half game back.
Pinch hitter Ryan Benevidez doubled off Cajuns' reliever Nick Lee (1-4) with one out in the ninth inning. Chase Coker then lifted a fly ball to deep left center that went off the glove of Gavin Bourgeois to put runners at second and third. Marcus Ragan grounded out as Benevidez scored to get the Trojans within a run and Danny Mitchell had a two out double to left center to tie the game.
Benevidez did it again with a one out single in the eleventh and Coker followed with a single. Ragan's single gave Little Rock the lead and Mitchell and Matt Merino also drove in runs in the eleventh inning.
The Cajuns led 3-0 after two innings on RBI from Hunter Kasuls, Kennon Fontenot and Daniel Lahare, but Little Rock dcored twice off Cajuns starter Jack Burk in the third on RBI from Coker and Ragan and tied the game on T. J. Alexander's single in the fourth. Jonathan Windham homered in the sixth inning, his first as a collegian, to give the Cajuns a 5-4 lead in the sixth, but Coker homered in the seventh to tie the game.
Louisiana went ahead in the bottom of the seventh against Trojans' relief specialist Justin Garcia when Lahare reached on an infleld hit and went to second on a throwing error. Gavin Bourgeois then bunted for a single to put runners at the corners. Lahare scampered home on a passed ball and Bourgeois scored on Fontenot's single to give the Cajuns a 6-4 lead. Lee retired the Trojans in the eighth, but couldn't get out of the ninth.
Coker led the Trojans' 16-hit attack with four hits and four runs scored. Ragan added three hits and three RBI, while Mitchell had two hits and drove in two runs. Bourgeois had four hits for the Cajuns, who tallied 13 hits in the contest. Lahare added three hits while Tyler Stover had two.
The Cajuns travel to Ruston Tuesday to take on Louisiana Tech.