Mistakes Cost Cajuns In Wally Pontiff Classic
The Ragin' Cajuns spotted LSU four unearned runs in the Wally Pontiff Classic on Tuesday, and the Tigers made them pay.
Tony Robichaux always talks about baseball being a game of failure. The team that makes the least mistakes wins the game, and unfortunately for his team, they were on the wrong side of his formula for success in the 5-8 loss.
Things looked good after the Cajuns scored first to start the game, but LSU hung crooked numbers in the third and fourth innings to take the 5-1 lead. Then, in the fifth, both teams broke out.
The Cajuns picked up a four run inning, including a three run homer from Steven Sensley that tied the game at five runs a piece. LSU's response was swift and skillful, with three runs in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the lead at 8-5. From that point on, their pitchers shut the door on the Cajuns with eight different arms combining for 12 strikeouts.
Evan Guillory received his third loss of the season (1-3), and he took the brunt of the damage from the four Cajun errors on the day. Seven of the eight runs allowed were given to Guillory (only four earned runs), and Hogan Harris and Jevin Huval finished the final four innings with only one run allowed.
Huval was a bright spot out of the bullpen, only allowing a single hit through three innings of work down the stretch. He gave the Cajuns a chance to put together a rally in the final innings, but they couldn't get anything going after Sensley's home run in the fifth inning.
Give credit to LSU. After the Cajuns took momentum back and tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, the Tigers responded in the bottom of the inning and never gave the lead back.
Paul Mainieri's platoon of pitchers never allowed the Cajun hitters to enter a real rhythm, while his hitters combined for 11 hits to back them up. Sensley was the only Cajun player to drive in a run (two runs scored on wild pitches), and it's hard to win games with just the long ball.
It's always hard to swallow a loss, but it makes it harder when it comes down to mistakes. It's easy to say, "If this one play went differently," and rationalize how things happened. When the errors start to compound, they tend to be harder to forget and ignore.
Coach Robe will have plenty to teach his team from the loss to LSU. He and Coach Mainieri use the game to prepare their team for postseason play, and the Cajuns need to clean up their mistakes before they have a chance to meet the Tigers again down the road.