Cajuns Trip Warhawks in Ten Innings, 5-4
Dex Kjerstad's single over a drawn in infield with one out in the tenth inning scored Jace Conrad with the winning run, giving Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns a hard-earned 5-4 win over the ULM Warhawks at Warhawk Field in Monroe.
Conrad tripled to left field with one out, forcing the Warhawks to play the infield in. Kjerstad then hit a bounder over the head of second baseman Jeff Fuller to break the 4-4 tie.
Kendall Mayer (2-0), the third of seven pitchers used by Tony Robichaux picked up the win. Tyler Bray (4-3) took the loss for the Warhawks (18-34, 7-21 Sun Belt.)
The Cajuns used four pitchers in the bottom of the tenth. Lefty Ben Frith faced Corben Green who grounded to short but reached when Blake Trahan's throw pulled Chase Compton off the bag at first. Matt Hicks then came on and got Justin Stawychny to ground to second base, moving pinch runner Ryan Bergeron to second. Kody Smith then came on to face the left handed hitting Dustin Herrington, who grounded to Sam Carriere, Bergeron holding at second. Ben Carter then came on to strike out Taylor Abdalla and earn his second save of the season.
The game was delayed 30 minutes because of a rain shower than moved through the Monroe area, causing the tarp to be put on the field following the Cajuns' batting practice.
Louisiana (36-17, 17-11) broke on top in the fifth inning against Warhawks' starter Andrew Richardson when Ryan Leonards walked with one out and Tyler Girouard drew a two out walk. A wild pitch moved the runners up and Caleb Adams drove them in with a single to right center, giving the Cajuns a 2-0 lead. The Cajuns had stranded six runners in the first four innings, five of them in scoring position.
Cajuns' starter Austin Robichaux cruised through the first five innings, throwing just 51 pitches. But ULM got to the sophomore ace in the sixth. Brandon Alexander led off with a single and Judd Edwards was hit by a pitch. Green struck out and Stawychy hit into a force play. But Herrington lauched a three run homer to the opposite field to give ULM a 3-2 lead.
Dalton Todd, who came into the game hitting just .149, homered off Robichaux to lead off the seventh, extended the Warhawks lead. Left hander Ryan Wilson came on with two out and a man on first and got Green to hit back to the pitcher and end the inning.
In the eighth, Dylan Butler led off the inning with a double off left-hander Alex Dumaine and Michael Strentz followed with a towering homer to left center, his seventh of the year to tie the game and set up the late inning drama.
The Cajuns and Warhawks will meet in game two of their series tomorrow at 6pm. Lefty Cody Boutte (8-3) gets the start for Louisiana. ULM ace Cale Wine (6-7) will be the ULM starter.