THIBODAUX, La. – The 13th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team couldn’t overcome miscues Tuesday night as the squad dropped a 3-1 decision to Nicholls in a non-conference game at Ray. E Didier Field.
“If you take away the three runs we gave them, it’s a 1-0 game and we come away with a win,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “As bad as we were at the plate, it was a winnable game. It wasn’t a pretty game, but you have to find different ways to win. To be a good team you have to be able to win in many different ways during the season. This team will get better, but you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you have. If we can just cut out the little mistakes, this is a different game.”
The loss drops the Cajuns to 1-2 on the year, while the Colonels improve to 2-2 overall.
Nicholls outhit the Ragin’ Cajuns 5-2 on the night with shortstop Joey Morales leading the way for the Colonels going 2-for-3 with a run. Senior first baseman Alex Pinero had Louisiana’s only hits of the night with a 2-for-4 effort including a double and an RBI.
Starter Mike Hanchar earned his first victory of the season for the Colonels as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Hanchar tossed seven shutout innings with a career-high nine strikeouts and didn’t allow a Ragin’ Cajuns runner to reach second base.
Freshman right-hander Jack Burk was the tough-luck loser for the Cajuns after allowing just one run on two hits in three innings of work. Burk struck out five in the outing and walked one.
Nicholls wasted no time grabbing a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Morales scored on a Burk wild pitch with two outs. Morales reached on a one-out single to center and then moved to third on a walk and wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Colonels added to the lead when Quade Smith was hit by a Chris Charpentier pitch with the bases loaded and two outs to make the score 2-0.
Pinero broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh with a two-out single up the middle.
Nicholls added an insurance run in the bottom half of the seven on a Haden Erbe wild pitch that scored Smith from third. Smith was hit by a pitch with one out and then moved to third on a two-base throwing error by Erbe.
The Cajuns got on the board in the top of the ninth on a two-out RBI double to left center by Pinero scoring right fielder Steven Sensley from first base. In the next at bat, reliever Adam Tarver got Kennon Fontenot to ground out to second base to end the contest and pick up his first save of the season.
Louisiana returns to action this weekend as the team heads to No. 18 Sam Houston State for a three-game series in Huntsville, Texas. First pitch Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.
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