Ninth Inning Implosion Sends Cajuns to Loser’s Bracket
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning of their first round game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament
against Texas State.
They had their second team All-Sun Belt closer on the mound an everything was fine.
Until the defense fell apart.
Two costly Cajuns' errors with two outs gave the #6 seeded Bobcats four runs and Texas State defeated#2 Louisiana 8-7 at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, AL.
Zach Sullivan led off the ninth inning against Cajuns' reliever Dylan Moore (3-3) with an infield single. Pinch Hitter Theodore Hoffman forced Sullivan with a shot to third base that was fielded by Joe Robbins. Cory Geisler singled, but Moore struck out Cedric Vallieres for the second out.
Granger Studdard lifted a lazy fly ball to left field.
No problem, right?
Except the ball was carried by the wind and Kyle Clement couldn't make the play for a two base error to score two runs and cut the Cajuns' lead to 7-6. Tanner Hill then walked to put runners at first and second. Ben McElroy then grounded to second base but the ball kicked off the heel of the glove of Stefan Trosclair to load the bases. David Paiz then sliced a single to right field to score the two runs that gave the Bobcats the improbable victory.
Tyler Giavanoni (2-1) pitched 1.1 innings to get the win. Geisler got the final out for his third save.
The Cajuns (34-21) got on the board in the second inning when Tyler Girouard led off the inning with a double. Nick Thurman reached on an error by Studdard which put runners at the corners. Evan Powell then drove in a run with a base hit, and Thurman scored on a double play, but the Cajuns led 2-0.
Louisiana made it 3-0 in the third on Troscialr's 14th homer of the year over the monster in right center field. But Texas State came back against UL starter Gunner Leger in the fourth when Hill walked with two out. It was the first walk given up by Leger in 38.2 innings. McElroy singled and Paiz hit a long homer to left to tie the score at three.
The Cajuns came right back in the bottom of the inning when Evan Powell hit a homer to dead center field off starter Lucas Humpel. Greg Davis singed and Dylan Butler doubled before Trahan doubled to right to give the Cajuns a 6-3 lead.
Texas State cut the lead in the sixth when Hill doubled with one out. McElroy walked and Paiz singled home Hill to cut the lead to two runs. Leger struck out Colby Targun before giving way to reliever Will Bacon, who struck out Sullivan for the third out.
The Cajuns increased the lead in the seventh when Joe Robbins reached on an error, was sacrificed to center by Clement and scored on Trosclair's double off the wall in right field for a 7-4 edge.
Bacon pitched 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit.
Trahan had three hits to pace the Cajuns' 11-hit attack. Trosclair, Butler and Powell had two hits each
Paiz was 3-5 and knocked in six runs for the Bobcats. Hill had two hits and scored three times.
The Cajuns will play at 12:30 Thursday in an elimination game against the loser of UT Arlington and #2 Troy.