Sweet Sixteen!! Cajuns Continue Dominance Over Warhawks
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns closed out the regular season with a 5-4, 6-4 doubleheader sweep over UL Monroe Saturday, earning the Cajuns the #3 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament beginning Wednesday in Troy, AL.
The Cajuns (34-20, 18-11 Sun Belt) will play #6 Texas State in the first round of the tournament Wednesday at 4pm.
Louisiana continued its dominance over its in-state rival. With the sweep, the Cajuns have now beaten the Warhawks sixteen straight times. The final victory eliminated ULM (25-29, 12-18) from the tournament field.
Louisiana scored twice in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and lead the
Cajuns to a 5-4 win. Blake Trahan walked with one out and after Joe Robbins grounded out, Kyle Clement doubled to score Trahan and Clement scored the second run of the inning on Stefan Trosclair's single off reliever Keegan Curtis.
ULM got a run back off winning pitcher Will Bacon (4-2) in the eighth on a one out double by Keelin Rasch and a two out single by Danny Springer. But Dylan Moore came in and got Justin Stawychny on a called third strike and the freshman the Warhawks in the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
The Cajuns took an early 1-0 lead off ULM starter Trey Setzer (6-3) on a homer by Evan Powell off the scoreboard in left center field. It was Powell's fourth round tripper of the season. But ULM came back against Cajuns' starter Evan Guillory on a single by Spencer Hemphill, a one out double by Dalton Todd to tie the game and Kodie Tidwell's RBI single.
The Cajuns tied the game in the fifth when Powell singled, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and came home on a wild pitch. ULM got the lead right back on another RBI single by Tidwell. That brought on Bacon, who retired Anthony Herrera and Rasch to prevent further damage.
Nick Thurman's RBI single tied the game in the sixth. The hit scored Greg Davis who had singled and stolen second, setting the stage for the seventh inning rally.
Bacon worked 3.1 innings and allowed three hits and one run. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.
GAME TWO--The teams withstood two rain delays totaling nearly three hours before the Cajuns rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to sweep the doubleheader, 6-4.
Trailing 4-2 entering the seventh, Nick Thurman led off the inning with a base hit off Josh Leone (1-4). Blake Trahan walked and Brenn Conrad's bunt went for a single to load the bases. Kyle Clement hit a sacrifice fly to the wall in right to move all the runners up 90 feet with Thurman scoring. Stefan Trosclair then greeted reliever Logan Dopson a sinking hit to center that went to the wall when Nathan Pugh missed a diving attempt, clearing the bases. Trosclair scored when Kodie Tidwell threw a relay throw into the Cajuns' dugout attempting to throw out Trosclair at third for the final run.
Colton Lee (2-3), the fourth Cajuns' pitcher, pitched 2.2 innings of shutout ball in the sixth through the eighth innings to get the win. Reagan Bazar retired the Warhawks in order in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Cajuns' starter Wyatt Marks was dominant in his four innings of work, allowing no hits with two walks and six strikeouts. But Marks could not return after the second rain delay and his day ended with a no decision.
The Cajuns got on the board in the first inning when Clement tripled with two out and Trosclair followed with a two run homer, his 13th of the season to give Louisiana an early 2-0 lead.
The teams suffered through a 1:16 rain delay in the third inning, with Marks and ULM starter Brandon Bell returning to the game. But another rain delay in the top of the fifth, this one 1:42 in duration, ended the day for both starters.
ULM got on the board in the bottom of the fifth against Cajuns' reliever Logan Stoelke when Justin Stawychny singled with one out. Spencer Hemphill followed with a single and both runners moved up on a passed ball. A balk by Stoelke brought in one run and Jacob Stockton's sacrifice fly scored the other to the the game at two apiece.
ULM took the lead in the sixth against reliever Greg Milhorn. Kodie Tidwell singled and Herrera was hit by a pitch. Keelin Rasch moved the up the runners with a sacrifice fly before Pugh delivered his first hit of the series to plate both runners and give the Warhawks a 4-2 lead before Lee came in to get the side out.
The doubleheader sweep eliminated ULM and gave the #8 seed to Arkansas State, who had lost earlier in the day to UALR.