ULL bounces back with 9-2 win against San Diego State
The top-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns baseball team bounced back from a tough loss Friday to roll to 9-2 win against San Diego State in an elimination game Saturday at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in the Lafayette Regional.
Louisiana-Lafayette moves to 54-8 overall with the win and will face the loser of the Jackson State/Mississippi State winner's bracket game Sunday at 1 p.m. in another elimination game at "the Tigue". SDSU closes out its season with a 42-21 record.
"We got a microcosm of last night's game," ULL head coach Tony Robichaux said in a news release. "We pitched, played defense and got timely hitting -- that's the only thing we didn't do last night –- so tonight we feel a lot better about ourselves because we've won because we got timely hitting."
Junoir Carson Baranik notched his 11th win of the season, limiting the Aztecs to two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings with a strikeout. Senior Matt Plitt was solid in relief, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings with a strikeout.
"Carson got us off to a good start, and Carson pitched liked Carson's capable of pitching," Robichaux added. "He stood up and ate up some innings in some heat and gave our hitters a chance to settle in. From there we just played super defense. I might still be pitching if I had Ryan (Leonards) at third base for me. Ryan did a great job today; he played great defense. Blake Trahan made some phenomenal plays. And that's our M.O. is to try to pitch and play defense and get timely hitting."
Center fielder Seth Harrison and shortstop Blake Trahan each had three hits in the game as all but one starter posted a hit in the contest. Harrison had a triple, walked, scored twice and drove in two runs. With the two RBIs, Harrison now has 60 this year and is the first Ragin' Cajuns player to post 60-plus RBIs in a season since Jonathan Lucroy had 68 in both 2006 and 2007. Michael Strentz had a game-high thee RBIs in the game.
Tyler Girouard brought home the Cajuns' first run of the Lafayette Regional on a two-out single up the middle, scoring Leonards from third. Leonards singled on the first pitch of the game and then moved to third on a Jace Conrad single.
In the bottom half of the first, Harrison kept the Aztecs off the board as he gunned down Tim Zier at the plate on a one-out single up the middle by Ty France.
Strentz extended the Ragin' Cajuns advantage to 4-0 in the top of the second on a two-out, three-run blast to left field. The home run is Strentz's 10th this season.
Later in the inning, Trahan singled through the left side of the infield to score Leonards from second.
The Aztecs got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI triple to right-center by Brad Haynal to make the score 5-1.
Louisiana-Lafayette added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI triple to left-center by Harrison and a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Dylan Butler.
Greg Allen drove in the second run of the game for SDSU in the bottom half of the fifth, bringing home Ryan Muno on a ground ball hit to short to cut the Ragin' Cajuns' advantage to 7-2.
The Cajuns plated a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Caleb Adams drove in the first run of the inning on a single through the left side to score Trahan. After a Chase Compton walk loaded the bases, Harrison brought home another run on a bunt single to make the score 9-2.
The Ragin' Cajuns starter for Sunday's elimination game has yet to be determined. Fans can watch the game live on ESPN3.com or listen on KPEL 96.5 FM.