Cajuns Use Huge Comeback to Sweep UL-Monroe with 11-9 Win
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns stormed back from a 9-2 deficit to sweep their three-game weekend series against UL-Monroe with a 11-9 win.
With the win, the Cajuns are now 17-11 on the season and 5-1 in Sun Belt Conference play. It is their fifth-straight victory.
Louisiana's pitching staff struggled early on in the game, allowing eight runs on 11 hits through a little over four innings, but relief pitcher David Christie came on in the fifth inning and threw a great game.
In five innings of work, Christie cooled off the red-hot Warhawks offense by holding them to one unearned run on one hit with six strikeouts. The effort earned him his first win of the season.
Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs praised Christie's performance out of the bullpen.
"I kept going to them until I found the right one," Deggs said. "He came in and settled things down. We got to the right arm and he gave us a chance. The batters did the rest."
Louisiana started the scoring in the first inning by loading the bases with one out, but they settled for one run on a sacrifice fly out. UL-Monroe instantly answered with five hits in the bottom of the first, but they only scored one run in the inning, stranding two runners.
The Cajuns had a chance to answer in the top of the second with two lead-off singles, but a fielder's choice caught a runner out at home, and a double-play ended the opportunity.
UL-Monroe then scored eight runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a commanding lead in the game.
In the third, a lead-off triple set the Warhawks up with a great opportunity to break the 1-1 tie. A hit-batter, RBI-line out and single scored two runs, and a throwing error got the runner to third base before a wild pitch brought him home to make it 4-1.
Louisiana cut into the lead on a solo home run by Bobby Lada in the top of the fourth, but the Warhawks answered in the bottom half of the inning. A defensive gem by Alex Hannie was sandwiched by two RBI hits by UL-Monroe to make it a 6-2 game.
The Warhawks added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth, using four bunts, one single, and two Louisiana throwing errors to score three more runs and stretch their lead to 9-2.
The Ragin' Cajuns came roaring back with a huge one-out rally in the sixth inning. Two walks, a RBI-single by Josh Cofield, two more walks, an error and a RBI-single by Tyler Robertson in the inning scored five runs for Louisiana's offense. A RBI-groundout scored the sixth run of the rally, and the Cajuns stormed back to make it a 9-8 game.
Christie struck out three Warhawks' batters in the bottom half of the sixth to end the scoring streak by UL-Monroe, and the momentum had completely shifted to Louisiana.
In the top of the seventh, a lead-off double by Lada and a RBI-single by Brett Borgogno tied the game at 9-9. Borgogno advanced to second on the play and third on a groundout before CJ Willis brought him home with a RBI-single to give the Cajuns a 10-9 advantage. It was their first lead since the 1-0 edge in the first inning.
Willis stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Connor Kimple brought him home on a RBI-bunt, and Louisiana stretched the lead to 11-9 in the seventh inning.
Christie pitched shutout baseball over the final four innings. During that time, the Warhawks only managed two baserunners, one on a walk and one on an error.
Christie effectively kept the momentum with the Cajuns after the bats scored nine combined unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Cajuns held on to win 11-9 and sweep the series.
"We feel good where we are right now," Deggs said. "We'll enjoy this one and get ready for Arkansas State next weekend."
Up next, the Cajuns come home to host Nicholls State on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. before hosting Sun Belt Conference foe Arkansas State for a three-game weekend series starting on Friday.