Cajuns Blow Late Lead, Suffer First Road Loss Of Season
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun baseball should have plenty to be happy about on Easter. Ranked #1 in the Country, the Cajuns (36-5, 16-2) are coming off another victorious conference series (taking 2 out of 3 from UTA). However, the sting of defeat doesn't feel good to anybody, much less a team as competitive as Louisiana.
Leading 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cajuns bullpen gave up 4 runs to the UT-Arlington Mavericks, and in doing so lost their first road game of the season on Sunday, 5-4.
The defeat overshadows an outstanding pitching performance by senior Cody Boutte (pictured), who started hot for the Cajuns and never cooled down until he was pulled. Boutte pitched 7.0 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 unearned run, fanning 3 Mavericks batters in the process.
Matt Plitt pitched the 8th, keeping the Mavs at bay. In the ninth, Greg Milhorn walked two and gave up two hits. When he was replaced by Reagan Bazar, UTA trailed 4-3 with the winning runs on 2nd and 3rd. Two hit batters and one hit later, the Mavericks were celebrating an upset walk-off victory against the #1 ranked team in the nation.
While it makes for a long bus ride home, the Cajuns are still sitting atop the Sun Belt Conference standings at 16-2, holding a 3 game lead over the 2nd place ASU Red Wolves. At 36-5, Louisiana still owns one of the best records in the NCAA. It took until Easter day for the Cajuns to lose their first road game of the year, yet another testament to how consistent they've been.
"You can't always control if you win or lose," UL head coach Tony Robichaux has said. "What you can control is how you respond from a loss."
Lousiana's response awaits them Tuesday night at M.L. Tigue Moore field when they host McNeese State. First pitch is set for 6:00. Pre-game begins at 5:30. Catch all the action on ESPN1420 and espn1420.com.