LAFAYETTE, La. – A wild pitch in the top of the 11th inning sparked the ULM baseball team to a 2-1 win over UL-Lafayette Friday night at "Tigue" Moore Field.
With the win, the Warhawks (27-27, 14-15 SBC) assured themselves a bid to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, taking the series against the Ragin' Cajuns in the process.
Caleb Clowers and Joey Rapp each reached with singles in the top of the 11th inning, and both moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Judd Edwards. Taylor Abdalla reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with one man out. Corben Green struck out swinging for the frame's second out. Caleb Kellogg (3-4) threw the ball to the backstop with Brandon Alexander at the plate, scoring Clowers to vault ULM in front 2-1.
Chase Compton laced a leadoff single into left field to open the bottom of the 11th. Wil Browning (6-3) picked up the first out of the inning by striking out Dylan Butler. Tyler Girouard grounded into the 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Jeremy Sy ripped a one-out double down the left field line off starter Chris Griffitt in the top of the first inning and then moved to third base on a ground out by Clowers. Griffitt forced Rapp to fly out to right field, holding Sy at third.
Cale Wine retired all three UL-Lafayette (23-29, 11-18 SBC) hitters in order in the bottom of the second inning, striking out Jordan Bourque looking for the frame's third and final out.
The Ragin' Cajuns loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning after Ryan Leonards sent a hard-hit single into center field with one out. After a 12-pitch at-bat, Wine induced Jace Conrad into the 6-4-3 double play to stop the threat and keep UL-Lafayette off the scoreboard.
After a one-out single by Butler in the bottom of the fourth, the Warhawks turned their third inning-ending double play of the game 6-4-3 to keep the contest scoreless.
Wine sat the Ragin' Cajuns down in order in the bottom of the fifth inning, striking out Chris Sinclair looking to cap his third 1-2-3 frame of the game.
Sinclair failed to field a popped up bunt off the bat of Edwards to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Abdalla made Griffitt pay by blasting a triple to the gap in left center to score Edwards and give the Warhawks a 1-0 lead. Reliever Matt Hicks intentionally walked pinch hitter Alexander to give ULM runners at the corners with one away. Logan Fiasco laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, but Hicks threw Abdalla out at the plate trying to score from third base. Compton made a nice stab at first base to rob Les Aulds of a base hit and limit the damage in the inning.
Bourque laced a one-out single into left center field, scoring Butler from second base to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wine forced Daniel Nichols to pop up a bunt to the mound, throwing out Girouard to complete the double play and end the inning.
Browning entered for Wine in the bottom of the eighth inning, and despite allowing a single to Conrad proceeded to strike out three batters, freezing Compton looking to end the inning.
Five ULM batters led the way with one base hit apiece. Wine allowed one run in seven innings, walking one and striking out two. Browning threw four shutout innings, striking out five to earn the win.
Sinclair paced UL-Lafayette with three hits, while Butler and Bourque added two hits each. Kellogg allowed one run in his four innings to take the loss.
Game three of the series is slated for Saturday at 6 p.m.
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