Louisiana’s Winning Streak Ends in 16-11 Loss to Arkansas State
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns hit seven home runs, but their pitching staff struggled in their 16-11 loss to Arkansas State.
Louisiana used eight pitchers in the game and seven of them gave up runs. As a team, the Cajuns hit five batters and surrendered nine walks, allowing 14 free base runners in the game.
Cajuns head coach Matt Deggs admitted that many of the mistakes in the series finale were self-inflicted.
"It's very hard to play at a high level of baseball over a long period of time," Deggs said. "They didn't beat us in this game, we lost it."
Louisiana's offense out-hit Arkansas State 17-12 and hit seven home runs in the game, tying a school record. However, every time they scored, the Red Wolves had an answer. Arkansas State scored in each of the final five innings of the contest to deter a comeback by the Cajuns.
With the loss, Louisiana dropped to 20-12 overall and 7-2 in Sun Belt Conference play. They fell short of achieving a second consecutive weekend series sweep and lost their eight-game winning streak.
Arkansas State scored first with three runs on a bases-clearing two-out double in the first inning.
Louisiana responded in fashion with four solo home runs in the fourth inning, including three in a row by Connor Kimple, Ben Fitzgerald and Tyler Robertson to take a 4-3 lead.
The Red Wolves regained the lead with three runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. Fitzgerald hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs to tie the game at 7-7.
With two outs in the seventh inning, a hit-by-pitch, walk and throwing error scored the leading run, and an inside-the-park home run scored three more to give Arkansas State an 11-7 lead.
Nick Hagedorn and Carson Roccaforte hit two solo home runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning, but the Red Wolves scored one in the eighth and four in the ninth to give them their largest lead of the game at 16-9.
The Cajuns scored twice in the ninth inning, but the seven-run difference was too much to overcome in the final frame. Their winning streak came to an end at eight games in the 16-11 loss.
Coach Deggs liked what he saw from his offense and said the team will take this loss as an opportunity to start another winning streak.
"Somehow they were still in that ball game, and that speaks to their resilience," Deggs said. "We've got to keep it in perspective with the roll these young men have been on. We just have to come out next week and start a new one."
Up next, the Ragin' Cajuns travel to Mobile, Alabama to play South Alabama in a three-game weekend series starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m.