Cajuns Win Wild Affair With McNeese, 12-10
For those who like precision baseball, this probably wasn't your game.
For those who like games to go by fast, it certainly wasn't for you.
But for those who like to see the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns win, it was a beautiful thing.
Louisiana jumped out to a 7-2 lead, fell behind 9-7, but rallied for five runs in the sixth inning to beat McNeese State 12-10 in a 3:38 marathon Tuesday night at M. L.."Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
The two teams combined to use twelve pitchers, who allowed 24 hits, issued 14 walks and struck out 19 batters.
"We used to call those 'mid-weekers,' head coach Tony Robichaux said after the game. It was sloppy at times and it wasn't textbook, but our guys did enough to win."
Louisiana (16-17) scored six runs over the first three innings on just four hits, taking advantage of three walks, a hit batsman and a pair of Cowboys' errors to take a 6-1 lead after three innings. It was 7-2 after four innings, but McNeese (13-20) scored seven runs on six hits, with the big blow being a three run homer by Jake Cochoran, to take a 9-7 lead.
But the Cajuns rallied in the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits, with Kennon Fontenot, Zack Lafleur and pinch hitter Todd Lott all driving in runs with base hits, as the Cajuns took advantage of two more McNeese errors in the inning.
"I was proud of our hitters tonight," Robichaux said. "We worked counts and got a lot of free base runners and turned that into runs with some clutch hits."
McNeese tried to rally against Cajuns' reliever Grant Cox in the seventh as Joe Provenzano singled and Dustin Duhon, who was 5-5 in the game also singled to put runners at first and second with no outs. Brett Whelton hit a liner with the runners in motion, but Hunter Kasuls made the catch, starting an easy triple play to get the Cajuns out of the inning. It was the first triple play for Louisiana since the 2010 season against Southeastern Louisiana.
McNeese closed to within two runs in the eighth on a two out RBI double by Reid Bourque,, prompting Robichaux to call on closer Logan Stoelke. But the senior felt a twinge in his groin while warming up, forcing Robichaux to call on freshman Michael Leaumont, who got a fly ball from Shane Selman to get out of the inning.
Leaumont worked around a pair of singles in the ninth, striking out the side to earn his first career save.
Kennon Fontenot led the Cajuns with three hits and three RBI, while Zack Lafleur added two hits and four runs batted in for the Cajuns. Louisiana was also aggressive on the basepaths with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.
McNeese was led by the five hits from Duhon, while Joe Provenzano had three hits and two RBI. Carson Maxwell added two hits and Cochran had a pair of hits and three runs batted in.
Louisiana will take on Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night at Russo Park with freshman lefty Austin Perrin getting the start. Game time is set for 6:30 pm.