HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A four-run fifth inning was the difference on Sunday as the 13th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team dropped the series finale against No. 18 Sam Houston State 8-3 at Don Sanders Stadium.
“You have to pitch against momentum, and we didn’t do that today,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “You have to set a good tempo against a team like this. We did that the first two nights, but we just couldn’t set a good tempo today. If you want to sweep a series, you have to come out and take command of the game. It looked like we might, but we just didn’t pitch well with a lead early. We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, and we will come back Tuesday night ready to wrap up this road trip.”
The loss moves the Cajuns to 3-3 on the year, while the Bearkats improve to 3-4. Both team had 10 hits in the game with centerfielder Ishmael Edwards, first baseman Alex Edwards and catcher Handsome Monica each picking up a pair of hits. SHSU third baseman Andrew Fregia had a game-high three RBI.
Ragin’ Cajuns starter Evan Guillory (0-1) was handed his first loss of the year after giving up six runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
Freshman right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-0) earned the victory for Sam Houston State allowing just three runs on seven hits in five innings. Reliever Kyle Backhus notched his first save of the season tossing four shutout innings to close out the game.
Louisiana jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the first inning after posting four straight hits with one out. Junior right fielder Steven Sensley brought home Edwards on a single through the right side of the infield to get the Cajuns on the board. In the next at bat, Pinero singled home designated hitter Todd Lott on a ball hit to right field.
The Bearkats cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom half of the first on a two-out RBI triple to right center by Fregia.
Sam Houston State pulled even at 2-all in the second inning on a two-out RBI single up the middle by shortstop Taylor Beene.
In the bottom of the third, SHSU grabbed a 3-2 edge on an RBI groundout to shortstop by Fregia.
Sophomore shortstop Hunter Kasuls tied the contest for the second time on the day at 3-all in the top of the fifth with a leadoff, opposite field solo home run to left centerfield.
It didn’t take the Bearkats long to regain the lead though as SHSU plated four runs on four hits and an error in the bottom half of the fifth. After two singles to lead off the inning, left fielder Mac Odom singled home a run to give Sam Houston State a 4-3 advantage. Two batters later, the Bearkats pushed two more runs across on a throwing error by third baseman Joe Robbins. Catcher Robie Rojas brought home the final run of the inning on a double to left center.
SHSU added the final run of the game in the sixth inning on an RBI groundout by Bryce Johnson.
The Cajuns wrap up an eight-game road swing on Tuesday at Northwestern State in a 6 p.m. contest. Following the matchup with the Demons, Louisiana returns home for the 2017 home opener against Southern Miss on Friday at 6 p.m. at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
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