NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team notched its eighth shutout of the season on Tuesday night as the Cajuns blanked Tulane 1-0 at Turchin Stadium to extend their win streak to a season-best four straight games.
“We had their guy one the ropes in the first inning and we let him off of the hook,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Give him credit, he settled into the game and showed why he has been a Friday night guy for them. At that point, we knew that we were going to need to match them with pitching and defense, and we were able to do just that. Like us, they couldn’t get the critical hit in the ball game. Sometimes one run is all you need to win a game, and tonight that one run stood up.”
The shutout moves the Ragin’ Cajuns (22-14-1, 10-4-1 Sun Belt) into a tie with Oregon for the national lead. The eight shutouts is also the most since the 2014 season when Louisiana posted 11 on the year.
Junior Colten Schmidt notched his first career victory for the Cajuns in his first ever appearance tossing 2.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
Closer Dylan Moore picked up his eighth save of the year and 35th of his career tossing 2.1 scoreless innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
“I thought Evan (Guillory) came out and gave us a good start to the ballgame,” Robichaux said. “Colten pitched really well having not thrown in a long time. He really can be a big weapon for us now that he’s back healthy. It was also good to see D-Mo (Dylan Moore) come back and pick up another save tonight.”
Sophomore left-hander Ross Massey was the tough-luck loser for Tulane (18-19) to fall to 0-5 on the year after holding the Cajuns to just one run on two hits in seven innings of work. Massey walked four and struck out three in the start.
The Green Wave outhit Louisiana 7-2 in the game with shortstop Sal Gozzo posting a game-high two hits. Tulane left 14 runners on base in the contest going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The Ragin’ Cajuns plated the only run of the game in the top of the first as Kennon Fontenot drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk from Massey to bring home shortstop Brad Antchak. The walk was the fourth straight issued by Massey in the inning. Massey then settled in to strikeout Alex Pinero and got Brenn Conrad to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.
Tulane loaded the bases three times in the game, but each time Moore stepped up and got a big out to preserve the shutout.
In the bottom of the seventh, Moore came on to get Lex Kaplan swinging with the bases loaded and two outs to end the first threat.
After two singles and a walk loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, Moore got pinch hitter Kody Hoese to foul out to catcher Handsome Monica to keep the one-run edge.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Green Wave got a one-out hit from Grant Weatherspoon followed by a Kaplan strikeout and walks to Hunter Williams and Jarret DeHart to load the bases with two outs. In the next at bat, centerfielder Grant Brown drove a 2-1 pitch from Moore into the gap in left center, but Fontenot was able to run it down in the gap to end the contest.
“When you have a night like tonight where you face an arm like that and don’t get many hits, you usually see the team come back the next night and get a lot of hits,” Robichaux stated. “I look for our team to do just that tomorrow night at home.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns return to action tomorrow night at 6 p.m. as they host Southeastern Louisiana at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park. Right-hander Jack Burk (2-4, 2.58 ERA) will make the start for Louisiana, while right-hander Derrick Mount (1-0, 3.48 ERA) will take the bump for the Lions.
Following the matchup with Southeastern La., the Cajuns head to Little Rock for a three-game series with the Trojans starting Friday at 6 p.m.
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