Masterful Pitching Leads Louisiana to 2-0 Win Over LA Tech
Tuesday night marked a few debuts for Louisiana Ragin' Cajun baseball.
It was the home debut of the 2021 season. With social distancing guidelines, Russo Park wasn't packed like it normally would be, but the Cajun faithful in attendance were loud, cheering Louisiana onto a 2-0 victory over Louisiana Tech.
It was the Ragin' Cajun debut of infielder Bobby Lada, who played second base and had a big insurance RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to give Louisiana a 2-0 lead.
And it was the Louisiana debut of pitcher Spencer Arrighetti, who earned the win with a masterful performance on the mound.
The sophomore transfer right-hander worked with a no-hitter up until the 7th inning before giving up a single, suffocating the Bulldogs with a combination of pitches.
"My gameplan tonight was the same as it is every night, to execute pitches," said Arrighetti. "It was awesome pitching in front of Cajun nation for the first time. They were electric. The energy in the dugout was great...I love the competition of all of it. That's what we do here. We scrap."
His scrap earned him his first win as a Cajun, and an impressive stat line.
"It was a great pitching performance," said head coach Matt Deggs."As good as I've seen in a long time by a starter like that. I was happy for him."
While Deggs and Lousiana's staff adhere to a strict pitch count, they let Arighetti go a little longer than normal considering he hadn't given up a hit entering the 7th inning.
"Did I picture him going into the 7th? Not really, because of pitch count," explained Deggs. "Do you want to make national news of taking a kid out who has a no-hitter? I'm teasing about that, but he was pitching so well."
What was working so well for him?
"Fastball command for me," explained Arrighetti. "That's really where everything works. When the fast ball is good, everything else gets better. I felt like that was the key for me tonight, commanding the fastball."
After 89 pitches in 6.2 innings for Arrighetti, Austin Perrin came in in relief, closing out the Bulldogs in the 7th.
Jacob Shultz came in the 8th with a runner on and made quick work of Tech, before Brandon Talley pitched in the 9th against a team who signed him out of high school, putting away the Bulldogs to earn the save.
"It was gigantic, pitching picking us up like that tonight," noted Deggs.
Offensively, the Cajuns finished with 7 hits, scoring their first run of the game in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by freshman Carson Roccaforte.
Louisiana added the insurance run in the 7th off the RBI single by Lada, who missed the opening weekend at Tulane due to a stomach virus.
"I was really proud of Bobby tonight," said Deggs. "I thought he played tremendously. Very quick twitched. Very athletic and a huge, huge RBI for us."
With the victory, Louisiana improves to 3-1 on the season.
Wednesday night, they welcome LSU (2-1) to Russo Park for a midweek showdown.
"This is as good as it gets. I wish we played every day," said Deggs. "We get to go out tomorrow night against an SEC team in LSU, an in-state rival."
First pitch is set for 6:00 pm, with the radio pregame show beginning at 5:30 on ESPN1420, ESPN1420.com, and the ESPN1420 app.