LAFAYETTE, La. – Texas State rallied for five runs in the final two innings on Saturday night as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team fell 8-4 to the Bobcats to even the series at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
The Bobcats (25-26, 11-15 Sun Belt) outhit the Ragin’ Cajuns (31-20-1, 15-10-1 Sun Belt) 14-6 in the contest with Jonathan Ortega and Jaylen Hubbard each going 3-for-5 at the plate. Hubbard had a game-high three RBI, while Ortega scored three runs and drove in two more. Junior Zach LaFleur led Louisiana offensively going 2-for-5 and scored a run.
“I thought Colten (Schmidt) gave us a chance to win tonight, but the back end of the bullpen let the game get away from us,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Give them credit, they got a couple critical hits late in the game off of some good arms. Now we are going to have to try and win the series tomorrow.”
Starter Colten Schmidt went 5.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts in a no decision. Reliever Jevin Huval (0-2) took the loss for the Cajuns giving up two runs on three hits with a strikeout in two innings of work.
Reliever Brayden Theriot (4-1) claimed the victory for Texas State tossing 2.1 scoreless innings to close out the game. Theriot held Louisiana hitless with a walk and two strikeouts. Starter Nicholas Fraze was touched for four runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
The Bobcats grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield by Mickey Scott.
The Ragin’ Cajuns answered with a three-run third inning to go in front 3-1. Handsome Monica brought home the first run of the inning on an RBI groundout to shortstop. Louisiana picked up its other two runs in the inning on a two-out single through the right side of the infield by Brenn Conrad followed by an RBI double down the left field line by Steven Sensley.
The Cajuns would hold on to the lead until the top of the sixth when Schmidt gave up a pair of RBI singles to Ortega and Theodore Hoffman to even the contest at 3-all.
Louisiana went back in front 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch by Theriot that scored Hunter Kasuls. The Ragin’ Cajuns threatened for more in the inning, but left fielder Jacob Almendarez snagged a Joe Robbins line drive with two outs and the bases loaded.
Texas State responded in the top of the eighth with a bases-loaded, two-run double off of the wall in left by Hubbard to take the lead, 5-4. The Bobcats added another run in the inning on a bases-loaded walk to Felipe Rodriguez before plating two more runs in the ninth to make the final 8-4.
The Cajuns and Bobcats close out the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the rubber game at Russo Park. Sophomore left-hander Hogan Harris (3-2, 2.62 ERA) will make the start for Louisiana, while Texas State will counter with junior right-hander Cam Baird (1-5, 5.32 ERA).
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