Cajuns’ Late Explosion Buries Southern, 17-3
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns broke open a tie game by scoring fourteen runs in the final two innings to defeat the Southern Jaguars 17-3 before 3,361 at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field Wednesday night.
A two run double by Michael Strentz and a three run homer by Dylan Butler were the big blows during a seven run seventh inning, and Caleb Adams’ three run triple highlighting a seven run eighth as the Cajuns (24-2) won their 14th straight game.
Tyler Girouard walked to start the seventh inning against losing pitcher Jacob Polk (0-1) and Adams singled, reaching base for the 20th straight game. Jace Conrad walked to load the bases before Strentz broke the 3-3 tie with a bloop double to right to give the Cajuns the lead for good. After Chase Compton reached on a fielder’s choice, Butler delivered a mammoth shot over the left field wall to break the game open and give the Cajuns an 8-3 lead. The Cajuns added two more in the inning on a bases loaded walk to Adams and a wild pitch.
The Cajuns took advantage of wildness by Southern pitchers to add another seven runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Adams triple into the right field corner with the bases loaded. Blake Trahan, Greg Davis and Nick Thurman were also credited with RBI in that inning.
The Cajuns struck first in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Compton, but Southern broke through in the third against Cajuns’ starter Ben Carter. Robinson Mateo led off with a walk and Sam May singled. Phillip Williams then bunted into a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with one out. Lance Jones delivered an RBI single and Marcus Tomlin followed with another to put the Jaguars (4-13) out in front 2-1. After D. J. Wallace struck out, Brian Rowry plated the third run with another single.
The Cajuns got close on a Jace Conrad sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third and tied the game in the fourth when Blake Trahan singled, one of his four hits on the night. Trahan stole second and later scored on a two out single by Seth Harrison to the the game at 3-3.
Southern had a chance to take the lead in the sixth after a leadoff double by Wallace and a single by Rowry against reliever Nick Zaunbrecher. Connor Toups faced one batter and induced a sacrifice by Elliot Jones. Reliever Martin Anderson hit the first batter he faced to load the bases but got out of trouble when Mateo hit into a double play to end the threat.
Trahan led the Cajuns’ attack with four hits and three runs scored. Conrad added three hits, while Butler and Adams had two each. Adams drove in four runs, Butler three and Strentz two.
Matt Hicks (3-0) retired all five men he faced to get the win for the Cajuns, who used seven pitchers on the night. The Cajuns’ staff allowed six hits, but no runs after the third inning. The Cajuns, meanwhile, took advantage of ten walks and five hit batsmen by six Jaguars pitchers to go with their 16-hit attack.
Louisiana is 5-0 on the nine game homestand and will entertain Western Kentucky in a three game Sun Belt series this weekend at “the Tigue.” Gametimes are set for 6pm, 2pm and 1pm.