LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team used a four-run fourth inning to defeat Texas State 4-3 to take the series in the final home game of the season at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park on Sunday.
The series victory is the ninth of the season for the Cajuns (32-20-1, 16-10-1 Sun Belt) and snaps a streak of two straight series losses in conference play.
“Our defense has been good all year, and I think that’s been able to keep us grounded,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Being able to turn those two double plays late in the game was huge. It was big to get that four run inning. I preach all the time how big the three run inning can be. We were able to stay away from a three run inning today, got the three run inning and we ended up winning.”
Starter Hogan Harris (4-2) earned the victory for the Ragin’ Cajuns with his third quality start of the season holding the potent Texas State (25-27, 11-16 Sun Belt) offense to three runs on five hits in six innings of work. Harris struck out a season-low three batters in the outing.
Relievers Nick Lee and Wyatt Marks combined to toss three scoreless innings to close out the game. Marks picked up his seventh save of the year in the contest tossing a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout.
Cam Baird (1-6) took the loss for the Bobcats allowing four runs on six hits in six innings.
Texas State had a slight 7-6 edge in hits in the contest with Theodore Hoffman posting a game-high three hits with a double and an RBI. Junior Steven Sensley increased his on base streak to 21 games going 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
For the third game in the series, Texas State took an early lead on a two-out single to right center by Hoffman to make the score 1-0 in the top of the second inning.
The Bobcats increased their advantage to 2-0 in the third inning when Jaylen Hubbard came home to score on an RBI ground out to second base by Mickey Scott.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got on the board in a big way in the bottom of the fourth scoring four runs on four hits and two walks to take a 4-2 edge. Steven Sensley pulled the Cajuns even with a two-run blast to right center for his tenth home run of the season.
After Louisiana loaded the bases with one out, Alex Pinero drove a sacrifice fly to deep right field to plate Joe Robbins and give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 3-2 advantage. The Cajuns picked up their final run of the fourth inning on a double steal as Kennon Fontenot came home to score.
Texas State cut into the lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI single to right center by Jonathan Ortega to make the score 4-3.
The Bobcats threated in the seventh and eighth innings, but both times Lee got a big ground ball double play to keep the Cajuns in the lead.
Marks came on in the ninth and was perfect as he struck out Derek Scheible looking to end the contest.
Louisiana returns to action on Thursday at 6 p.m. as the squad wraps up the regular season with a three-game series at ULM.
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