HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The 13th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team had a breakout day at the plate as the squad pounded out 13 hits to defeat No. 18 Sam Houston State 6-1 to clinch the series on Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium.
“Hopefully this is a good sign that we are putting things together and getting on the same page offensively,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We left some runners on early, but our players stayed the course and started stringing together hits when it mattered. Our pitchers did a good job of keeping their hitters at bay. We need to come out tomorrow not satisfied with two wins and sweep somebody.”
The victory puts the Cajuns (3-2) above. 500 for the first time on the season, while the Bearkats drop to 2-4 overall.
Freshman designated hitter Todd Lott led Louisiana offensively going 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and scored a run. Second baseman Brenn Conrad, centerfielder Ishmael Edwards and first baseman Alex Pinero each had a pair of hits in the contest.
Sophomore right-hander Nick Lee tallied his second win of the year with yet another quality start holding Sam Houston State to one run on five hits in seven innings of work. Lee walked one and fanned eight on the day, while junior Wyatt Marks was stellar out of the bullpen retiring all six batters he faced including four strikeouts.
SHSU starter Seth Ballew was touched for his first loss of 2017 after surrendering three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Louisiana threatened early loading the bases in the top of the first with no outs, but Ballew induced an infield fly by catcher Handsome Monica and a ground ball double play by Pinero to get out of the jam.
After leaving two more on in the third inning, the Cajuns broke into the scoring column in the top of the fourth when Pinero scored on a Ballew wild pitch. Pinero double to left field to leadoff the inning and then moved to third on a balk.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took command of the game in the top half of the fifth scoring three runs on three hits and a Bearkat error to extend the advantage to 4-0. Edwards scored the first run of the inning on a throwing error by second baseman Lance Miles. Lott brought home the final two runs of the inning on a two-out, two-run single up the middle.
Sam Houston State cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI single to right field by Taylor Beene.
Louisiana picked up its final two runs in the eighth on a solo blast two left by Lott and a throwing error by catcher Robie Rojas.
The Cajuns look to complete the sweep tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium. Junior right-hander Evan Guillory (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will face off against freshman right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-0, 3.18 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live on News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM with Dan McDonald and Jeff Schneider calling the action.
“We need to make sure that we don’t look back and wonder what could have been if we would have hit like this to start the season,” Robichaux said. “We have to move forward and continue to progress and we will be just fine as a ball club.”
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