www.ragincajuns.com â€“ Louisiana unleashed their frustrations from a tough Friday night loss with a hit parade off of Troy reliever Ryan Sorce in the fourth inning to break open a tie ball game then kept battering the Trojans relievers on the way to a 17-1 win Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, Ala.
Sorce entered in relief of starter Jimmy Hodsgkin who had thrown 91 pitches through the first 3 2/3 innings. With runners on the corners and two outs, he hit Alex Fuselier to load the bases then three consecutive run-scoring hits delivered by Greg Fontenot, Mike Petello and Jordan Poirrier plated the runs that blew the game wide open.
The trio of run-scoring hits opened a 7-1 lead for Louisiana (27-20, 14-9 Sun Belt) and the outcome was never in doubt as Jordan Nicholson took his turn delivering a spectacular pitching performance.
A night after Troyâ€™s Tyler Ray tossed a complete game, Nicholson pitched his first complete in a Cajuns uniform holding the hosts to five hits while walking none and striking out seven. The most remarkable stat of the evening â€“ it only took Nicholson 96 pitches to finish off the Trojans (33-14, 16-7 Sun Belt).
The Cajuns registered five runs off of Sorce then added an additional nine runs off the next four relievers the Trojans sent to the mound over the final five innings.
With the win the Cajuns evened the weekend series with the Trojans setting up the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m. T.J. Geith (5-3, 4.30 ERA), who has recorded a complete game in each of his last two outings, gets the start for UL and heâ€™ll be opposed by Shane McCain (1-2, 4.27 ERA).
The 17 runs scored marked a season-high for the Raginâ€™ Cajuns and were the most allowed by Troy this season. The Trojans entered the night leading the Sun Belt in ERA with a 3.44 mark.
UL received a base hit from every spot in the batting order and finished with 18 hits which was one shy of the season-high (19 at Southern).
Fontenot and Petello led the way with four hits apiece and the Nos. 1-5 hitters each recorded a multiple-hit game.
Fontenot produced a career-high five RBI and with three fielding assists broke Mark Lalandeâ€™s all-time record for career assists. Fontenot has accrued 507 career assists, topping Lalandeâ€™s mark of 506 set from 1978-82.
The Trojans jumped on the scoreboard first benefiting from a Jordan Bourque throwing error in the bottom of the second inning. The Cajuns responded with a run in the top of the third on a Petello double into the right field corner that scored Fuselier tying the score at 1-all.
After Nicholson retired Troy in order in the bottom of the third, the Cajuns came back with the decisive half inning in the top of the fourth and pulled it off with two outs.
It was a two-out walk issued by Hogskin that prolonged the inning. By that point Hodgskin had walked four and was at 91 pitches forcing Troy to reach into the bullpen.
Sorce hit Fuselier and the bases were loaded for Fontenot, the Cajuns best hitter this season with the bases loaded.
Fontenot promptly ripped a double down the right field line that rolled to the wall and cleared the bases giving the Cajuns the lead for good. Petello doubled home Fontenot then Poirrier launched a two-run home run over the left field wall and the lead grew to 7-1.
Nicholson ensured that the momentum would stay with the Cajuns as he threw up a zero in Troyâ€™s half of the fourth by retiring the side.
BASES NOTED: Louisiana made it 21 consecutive Sun Belt series without being swept, a streak that dates back to April 2009â€¦The quartet of Alex Fuselier, Greg Fontenot, Mike Petello and Jordan Poirrier accounted for 15 RBIâ€¦Petello extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest streak for a Cajuns player in 2011â€¦Fontenot and Petello reached four hits marking the fourth four-hit game for Fontenot and second for Petello this seasonâ€¦Jordan Nicholsonâ€™s complete game effort was the sixth for Cajuns pitchingâ€¦Nicholson collected his fourth victory and lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.24â€¦Poirrierâ€™s three RBI increased his season total to 48 moving him within two of reaching 50 for the second straight seasonâ€¦Fuselier has now hit safely in 26 of the past 29 gameâ€™s heâ€™s played and stretched his current hitting streak to five gamesâ€¦Since mid-march, Fuselier has recorded three separate seven-game hitting streaks and is two away from a fourthâ€¦UL ended a two-game losing streak to Troy at Riddle-Pace Field and improved to 5-4 vs. the Trojans at the facilityâ€¦Cajuns pitching held the opposition to five runs or less for the 31st time in 47 games (23-8 record) and for the 77th time in the past 79 games held the opponent to single digits.
Louisiana 17, Troy 1 (May 07, 2011 at Troy, Ala.)
Louisiana........... 001 601 252 - 17 18 1 (27-20, 14-9 SUN BELT)
Troy................ 010 000 000 - 1 5 1 (33-14, 16-7 SUN BELT)
Pitchers: Louisiana - Nicholson, Jordan. Troy - Hodgskin, Jimmy;
Sorce, Ryan (4); Austin, Thomas (6); Ward, Nick (8); Fisher, Chris (8); Teal, William (9)
Win-Nicholson, Jordan (4-2) Loss-Hodgskin, Jimmy (2-5) T-2:53 A-1214
HR UL - Poirrier, Jordan (7)
Weather: 82, SW @ 7 MPH, Sunny
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