Louisiana Beats Texas State 12-6 in Sun Belt Tournament
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns offense recorded 13 hits in their first game in Montgomery, Alabama and they beat Texas State 12-6 to open their Sun Belt Conference Tournament play.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 31-22 this season. Their next game against Appalachian State will determine which team wins pool C and advances to the tournament semifinals.
The Cajuns offense opened up an early lead on an extended two-out rally in the first inning. Brennan Breaux got things started with a double, and Ben Fitzgerald brought him home on a RBI-single. After a walk, Connor Kimple hit a RBI-single, and a double-steal scored the third run of the inning. A two-run RBI-triple by Bobby Lada capped off a five-run inning, and all of the work was done with two outs.
Texas State scored two runs in the second inning to make it 5-2, but Louisiana answered with a run in the third and two runs in the fourth to stretch the lead to 8-2.
Jack Burk started for the Cajuns, and he only threw the first two innings. After he exited, Louisiana's bullpen went on a stretch of four-consecutive scoreless innings where a different pitcher struck out two batters.
Austin Perrin and Hayden Durke pitched the third and fourth innings for the Cajuns, and Sam Riola, in his pitching debut for Louisiana, continued the streak by sitting down the Bobcats in order in the fifth.
The Cajuns added another three more runs in the sixth inning on another two-out rally to increase their lead to 11-2.
Peyton Havard struck out two Bobcats in a scoreless sixth inning, but Texas State finally scored in the seventh with a two-out two-RBI single to make it 11-4.
Alex Hannie hit the fourth triple of the night for Louisiana, which set a Sun Belt Conference Tournament single-game record, and Breaux used a RBI-groundout to score the Cajuns 12th run of the night.
Texas State scored two more runs in the eighth, but Louisiana preserved the lead and won 12-6. The Cajuns pitching staff finished with 15 total strikeouts in the game.
Head coach Matt Deggs was happy that his team got a chance to play on the new field and warm up before their elimination game against App State on Thursday night.
"It worked out for us because we got to get out on the field," Deggs said. "It was glorified practice, but we wanted to win. We got a look at the field, we got live at-bats, and I was happy with how we pitched."
Up next, Louisiana plays App State in a battle to decide which team advances to the semifinals out of pool C. The game is scheduled for Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Connor Cooke will pitch for the Cajuns.