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Cajuns’ Rally Falls Short 7-5

Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns rallied in the ninth inning, but a three run seventh proved to be the difference as MIddle Tennessee defeated Louisiana 7-5 to clinch the upper hand in their Sun Belt Conference series.

Louisiana (17-5, 3-2 Sun Belt), scored twice in the ninth inning and had the tying run in scoring position with one out.  But reliever Paul Mittura struck out Seth Harrison and got Chase Compton on a fly ball to center to end the threat.

Middle Tennessee (14-10, 2-3) hit three homers for the second straight game as Dain McNabb (3) and Trent Miller (1) hit solo homers in the fourth and fifth innings to give the Raiders a 4-2 lead.  But it was a two run homer by Michael Adkins (2) off reliever Kendall Mayer that proved to be the game winner.

The Cajuns got on the board in the first inning off 2012 Sun Belt Freshman of the year Johnathan Frebis (3-2) on back to back doubles by Michael Strentz and Tyler Girouard.  But Middle Tennessee came back in the bottom of the first against Austin Robichaux (3-1) on a hit batsman, a walk, a ground ball and a two run single by Adkins to give the Raiders the lead they would never relinquish.  McNabb’s homer made it 3-1, but the Cajuns got the run back in the fifth on a Ryan Leonards double to get the Cajuns within a run.

Leading 4-2 entering the seventh, Middle Tennessee finally got to Robichaux when Ryan Stephens tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a passed ball.  Johnny Thomas walked, which ended Robichaux’s day.  Mayer came in and got Trent Miller to foul out before Adkins launched the two run homer to left to make it 7-2.

Tyler Girouard hit a solo homer, his fourth, in the eighth to make it 7-3.

The Cajuns’ rally in the ninth began against reliever Daniel Palo when Blake Trahan led off with a single, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Dex Kjerstad singled to end Palo’s outing and bring on Mittura.  Pinch hitter Jace Conrad greeted Mittura with a double, plating Trahan.  After Michael Strentz struck out, Girouard walked to load the bases.  Caleb Adams then blooped a single to make it 7-5 before Mittura got the final two outs.

The loss today marked the first time all season the Cajuns have dropped back to back games.

Louisiana will try to avoid the three game sweep tomorrow when they send Cody Boutte to the mound against lefty Zac Curtis.  The game has been moved to a 12 noon start because of expected bad weather.

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