Cajuns blank Appalachian State to open Sun Belt play

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LAFAYETTE, La. – The 14th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team got another stellar outing from junior left-hander Gunner Leger as the Cajuns shutout Appalachian State 3-0 on Friday night in the Sun Belt Conference opener at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.

“I thought for a minute we were going to let them hang around, but (Steven) Sensley got into one and that gave us the room we needed to close this one out,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Gunner gave us what Gunner does, and we have been able to play such good defense. I am so glad that we can pitch and play defense. We still have to do a better job as hitters. We had their starter’s pitch count up early and then we let him settle back into the game. We’ll need to come out ready tomorrow to win another series.”

The shutout is the fifth of the year for the Cajuns (10-5, 1-0 SBC) with Leger taking part in three of the shutout performances.

Leger allowed just two hits in seven innings of work to improve to 4-1 on the year. The Lake Charles, La., native matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts in the game. In his last 27.2 innings, Leger has allowed just one run on nine hits while striking out 33 batters.

Junior right-hander Wyatt Marks closed out the game with two scoreless frames to pick up his second save of the year and third of his career. Marks gave up two hits and a walk while striking out four.

Leger and Marks combined to allow just two runners to reach scoring position in the game with no runners advancing past second base.

Offensively, Louisiana out hit the Mountaineers (8-10, 0-1 SBC) 9-4 in the contest led by centerfielder Ishmael Edwards who went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and one RBI. Right fielder Steven Sensley also went 2-for-4 with a home run and had two RBI on the night.

Senior first baseman Alex Pinero saw his team-best 12-game hit streak come to an end Friday, while Joe Robbins and Todd Lott extended their hit streaks to seven games apiece.

App State starter Travis Holden dropped to 1-3 on the year after giving up three runs on nine hits in a complete-game effort.

Edwards put the Cajuns in front 1-0 in the bottom of the first as he drove a 2-2 pitch from Holden over the fence in right for a leadoff home run. It was the first leadoff home run to start a game for the Ragin’ Cajuns since Robbins achieved the feat on Feb. 20, 2016 against Sam Houston State.

After four scoreless innings, Sensley hammered a 1-0 pitch from Holden in the bottom of the sixth over the pine trees in right field for a two-run homer to make the final 3-0.

The Cajuns will look to win their fourth consecutive series tomorrow at 2 p.m. as they face the Mountaineers in game two of the series at Russo Park. Sophomore right-hander Nick Lee (4-0, 2.25 ERA) will take the mound for Louisiana, while App State will counter with sophomore left-hander Colin Schmid (2-2, 2.42 ERA). The Ragin’ Cajuns are 19-1 in games started by Lee in the last two seasons.

Fans can listen to the game live on News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM with Jay Walker on the call. The contest will also be streamed for free on RaginCajuns.com with Dan McDonald providing commentary.

For the latest updates on Cajuns baseball, follow Ragin’ Cajuns baseball on Facebook (RaginCajunsBaseball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsBSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsBSB) or check RaginCajuns.com.

LAFAYETTE, La. – The 14th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team got another stellar outing from junior left-hander Gunner Leger as the Cajuns shutout Appalachian State 3-0 on Friday night in the Sun Belt Conference opener at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.

“I thought for a minute we were going to let them hang around, but (Steven) Sensley got into one and that gave us the room we needed to close this one out,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Gunner gave us what Gunner does, and we have been able to play such good defense. I am so glad that we can pitch and play defense. We still have to do a better job as hitters. We had their starter’s pitch count up early and then we let him settle back into the game. We’ll need to come out ready tomorrow to win another series.”

The shutout is the fifth of the year for the Cajuns (10-5, 1-0 SBC) with Leger taking part in three of the shutout performances.

Leger allowed just two hits in seven innings of work to improve to 4-1 on the year. The Lake Charles, La., native matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts in the game. In his last 27.2 innings, Leger has allowed just one run on nine hits while striking out 33 batters.

Junior right-hander Wyatt Marks closed out the game with two scoreless frames to pick up his second save of the year and third of his career. Marks gave up two hits and a walk while striking out four.

Leger and Marks combined to allow just two runners to reach scoring position in the game with no runners advancing past second base.

Offensively, Louisiana out hit the Mountaineers (8-10, 0-1 SBC) 9-4 in the contest led by centerfielder Ishmael Edwards who went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and one RBI. Right fielder Steven Sensley also went 2-for-4 with a home run and had two RBI on the night.

Senior first baseman Alex Pinero saw his team-best 12-game hit streak come to an end Friday, while Joe Robbins and Todd Lott extended their hit streaks to seven games apiece.

App State starter Travis Holden dropped to 1-3 on the year after giving up three runs on nine hits in a complete-game effort.

Edwards put the Cajuns in front 1-0 in the bottom of the first as he drove a 2-2 pitch from Holden over the fence in right for a leadoff home run. It was the first leadoff home run to start a game for the Ragin’ Cajuns since Robbins achieved the feat on Feb. 20, 2016 against Sam Houston State.

After four scoreless innings, Sensley hammered a 1-0 pitch from Holden in the bottom of the sixth over the pine trees in right field for a two-run homer to make the final 3-0.

The Cajuns will look to win their fourth consecutive series tomorrow at 2 p.m. as they face the Mountaineers in game two of the series at Russo Park. Sophomore right-hander Nick Lee (4-0, 2.25 ERA) will take the mound for Louisiana, while App State will counter with sophomore left-hander Colin Schmid (2-2, 2.42 ERA). The Ragin’ Cajuns are 19-1 in games started by Lee in the last two seasons.

Fans can listen to the game live on News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM with Jay Walker on the call. The contest will also be streamed for free on RaginCajuns.com with Dan McDonald providing commentary.

For the latest updates on Cajuns baseball, follow Ragin’ Cajuns baseball on Facebook (RaginCajunsBaseball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsBSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsBSB) or check RaginCajuns.com.

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Jeff Schneider

Sports Information Assistant, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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