Cajuns fall one win short of Omaha
The top-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team fell one win short of the program’s second trip to the College World Series Monday after a 10-4 loss to Ole Miss in the decisive game of the Lafayette Super Regional at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
The Cajuns (58-10) finish the season with the most wins in both program and Sun Belt history despite losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. Ole Miss (46-19) advances to the Omaha this weekend.
“I want to give credit to Ole Miss and Mike (Bianco) for coming in and being able to be down one game and come back and win two straight,” ULL head coach Tony Robichaux said in a news release “You have to give credit to them. There’s no better feeling than when you get that last out to get to Omaha, and on the other side of it, there’s going to be a team that’s not going to feel real good. I’m proud of our players, what they’ve accomplished this year, what they gave us this year as men. I just can’t be any more proud of our guys, the way they fought, all season long, what they’ve accomplished, but you have to give credit where credit is due.
“Ole Miss pitched very well, they kept us from having big innings, and we didn’t slow them down. We’d have a walk here and a base hit here, and we’d score one, but we never could really stop the bleeding. Give them credit, they really turned us around in that last inning and got the big inning, and that’s the one thing we want to try to stay away from with them is the big inning; we never got the big inning tonight, and they got one, and they got one deep in the game, and that’s what did us in.”
Senior Cody Boutte (9-1) was handed his first loss of the season in the contest after giving up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk in four innings.
Reliever Scott Weathersby (3-1) earned the victory for Ole Miss, throwing two scoreless innings in relief with two strikeouts.
Both Seth Harrison and Ryan Leonards had three hits in the contest as the Ragin’ Cajuns outhit Ole Miss, 10-9. Austin Anderson and Auston Bousfield each had two hits for the Rebels with Anderson driving in a game-high two runs.
Louisiana-Lafayette broke through in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to left by designated hitter Tyler Girouard, which scored Leonards from third. Leonards led off the inning with a double to center and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jace Conrad.
Ole Miss answered in the top of the fourth on a two-run homer by Anderson to right field to make the score 2-1 Rebels. Two batters later, Sikes Orvis launched a solo home run to right to extend the lead to two runs.
Strentz got a run back for the Cajuns in the bottom of the fourth, driving in Chase Compton on an RBI ground out to third base. Later in the inning, Leonards tied the game at 3 as he lined a double into the gap in left center to score Dylan Butler.
The Rebels scored a run in the top of the fifth without the benefit of a hit as Braxton Lee scored on a passed ball with the bases loaded to give Ole Miss the lead for good. Lee was hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced to third after a walk to Anderson, and Orvis was hit by a pitch.
In the top of the sixth, Auston Bousfield added a run for the Rebs on a two-out double down the left field line, scoring Lee from first for a 5-3 advantage.
The Ragin’ Cajuns pulled within a run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out RBI double down the left field line. Tyler Girouard scored on the hit, while Caleb Adams was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Lee gave Mississippi an insurance run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to left to make the score 6-4 Rebs.
Ole Miss added four runs on three hits and two walks in the top of the ninth to put the game out of reach. A bases-clearing double by Holt Perdzock highlighted the scoring in the inning.