MONROE, La. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team used a four-run first inning to defeat ULM 5-3 on Friday night at Warhawk Field as the Cajuns extended their win streak against the Warhawks to 21 games.
The win improves the Ragin’ Cajuns to 34-20-1 on the season and 18-10-1 in the Sun Belt. With the Georgia Southern loss Friday night at Georgia State along with a UT Arlington victory at Texas State, Louisiana has clinched the fourth seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament and will face the Eagles in its opening game of the tournament.
“When you score big like we did the night before, you know the next day that runs will be at a premium,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “When we got the four runs in early I felt good, but we needed to do a better job of building on the lead throughout the game. When the score comes down, those one or two runs can be big, but our pitching staff did a good job of holding them down late in the game. We were able to get the game turned over to D-Mo (Dylan Moore) with the lead late in the game and he did a good job of closing it out.”
Junior Colten Schmidt (2-1) notched his second victory of the season limiting ULM (12-42, 6-23 Sun Belt) to one run in 5.1 innings scattering seven hits and four walks.
Dylan Moore picked up his 11th save of the year and 38th of his career in the contest tossing two scoreless innings to close out the game. Moore struck out three in the outing and has converted on his last four save opportunities this season.
ULM starter Josh Leone (2-2) took the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
The Ragin’ Cajuns outhit the Warhawks 13-10 in the game with Brenn Conrad posting a game-high three hits with a double, a walk and scored a run. Joe Robbins, Kennon Fontenot and Handsome Monica each had a pair of hits in the victory, while Steven Sensley increased his on base streak to 24 games going 1-for-3 with a home run, two walks, and drove in two runs.
For the second straight game the Ragin’ Cajuns grabbed an early lead in the top of the first as Sensley sent a two-run homer to right center field for his 11th home run of the year. After Robbins doubled to centerfield, Fontenot added to the lead with an RBI single through the right side of the infield to make the score 3-0. In the next at bat, Todd Lott drove a double off of the wall in right center to plate Fontenot and give Louisiana a 4-0 advantage.
ULM cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double to center by Tyler Cox.
The Cajuns got the run back in the top of the fifth on a solo home run to left by Fontenot for his sixth homer of the year.
The Warhawks pulled within two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of two-out RBI hits by Chad Bell and Cox to make the score 5-3.
ULM had a runner reach on a walk in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Moore settled down in both times and kept the Warhawks scoreless getting Cox to strikeout to end the contest.
The Cajuns go for their fourth sweep of the season tomorrow with a 2 p.m. first pitch at Warhawk Field. Sophomore left-hander Hogan Harris (4-2, 2.80) will make the start for Louisiana.
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