Cajuns Down ULM in Sun Belt Opener 9-2
Was it the complete game pitched by Ryan Wilson, scattering nine hits in a 117 pitch performance?
Was it perfect defense, especially on the left side of the infield where the routine, and sometimes spectacular play was made?
Or was it the three home runs to pace a 10-hit attack for Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns against Louisiana-Monroe Friday night?
How about all three?
The Cajuns opened up Sun Belt Conference play about as well as one could ask, excelling in every phase of the game en route to a 9-2 win over the Warhawks Friday night before 2,325 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Wilson (2-1), made his first Friday night start a memorable one, as he gave up a single run in the third inning and one in the ninth enroute to the complete game performance. Wilson did not walk a batter and struck out nine.
The Cajuns (14-3, 1-0 Sun Belt) also played errorless ball behind Wilson, with third baseman Sam Carriere and shortstop Blake Trahan making play after play on defense.
And the Cajuns had home runs by Tyler Girouard, Chase Compton and Carriere to pace a ten hit attack that also saw the Cajuns get two bunt hits and execute a suicide squeeze play to score another run.
ULM (8-10, 0-1) got on the board first in the third inning when Brandon Alexander singled up the middle with two outs and scored when Judd Edwards hit a ball just inside the third base bag to score the run.
But the Cajuns came right back in their half of the third against ULM starter Carey Taylor (1-2) when Seth Harrison doubled with two outs and scored on Tyler Girouard's third homer of the season to give the Cajuns a 2-1 lead.
Louisiana put the game away in the fourth when Compton and Carriere hit back to back homers to make the score 4-1. It was the first homer of the season for each. Jace Conrad and Trahan then followed with back to back bunt singles and executed a double steal to put runners at second and third. Dex Kjerstad delivered Conrad with a sacrifice fly to center and Ryan Leonards laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Trahan and give the Cajuns a 6-1 lead.
The Cajuns would add another run in the sixth on a single by Trahan, a hit and run single by Kjerstad and a double steal. The final runs came against reliever Cristo Jones in the seventh on sacrifice flies by Carriere and Conrad.
Wilson, meanwhile, allowed just four hits between the third and ninth innings and retired nine in a row at one point. The Warhawks scored their final run on a double by Justin Stawychny, a ground ball and a wild pitch.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 2:05pm. Right hander Austin Robichaux will pitch for the Cajuns, while Cale Wine gets the start for ULM.