LAFAYETTE, La. – Senior Joe Robbins came through with the walk-off squeeze bunt in the ninth as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball completed the sweep of Arkansas State with a 3-2 victory on Saturday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
“I thought our pitchers did a great job today,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We got some critical outs at critical times in the ballgame and held back their push. Today we faced some of their better arms out of the bullpen, so we knew runs were going to be at a premium. We have to do a better job on the base paths, but we hung in there and played great defense. We didn’t make an error all weekend, and that we key because we never gave them anything.”
Reliever Wyatt Marks improved to 2-1 on the season after tossing a perfect final three frames to close out the ballgame as he tied his season-high with seven strikeouts.
Starter Hogan Harris went six innings in a no decision limiting the Red Wolves (19-17, 7-8 Sun Belt) to two runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
A-State’s Tyler Zuber (3-1) was tagged with his first loss of year after giving up one run on one hit in 1.2 innings of relief.
The Cajuns outhit the Red Wolves 7-3 in the game with senior Ishmael Edwards extending his hit streak to 11 games with his leadoff single in the third inning.
Louisiana jumped out to an early lead for the third straight game on a two-run single to left center by second baseman Brenn Conrad in the bottom of the second inning. Kennon Fontenot singled to shortstop and Alex Pinero doubled down the left field line to get into scoring position for Conrad.
The Red Wolves answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-all. Grant Hawkins brought home the first run of the inning on a double down the right field line. In the next at bat, Joe Schrimpf evened the contest on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
A-State threatened in the top of the fourth loading the bases with two outs, but Harris got Hawkins to fly out to right field to end the inning.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had a runner reach third base with less than two outs in the bottom of the fifth when catcher Handsome Monica doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning and then moved to third on a Zach LaFleur sac bunt. Following a walk to Ishmael Edwards, Brad Antchak hammered a pitch from reliever Tanner Kirby on a line to third baseman Alex Howard for the second out of the inning. Kirby then struck out Joe Robbins looking to keep the game knotted at 2-all.
In the bottom of the ninth, Edwards reached on a one-out walk and then moved to third on a wild pitch and an Antchak single to centerfield. In the next at bat, Robbins brought home Edwards on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt to end the contest.
Louisiana returns to action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. as the squad heads to Tulane in the first of five games on the week. The Ragin’ Cajuns return to Russo Park on Wednesday at 6 p.m. as they play host to Southeastern Louisiana in a non-conference game.
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