Sensley Powers Cajuns Past Red Wolves 13-2
Steven Sensley had a perfect night with two home runs, four runs scored and five runs batted in Friday night, leading the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns to a 13-2 win over Arkansas State before a paid crowd of 4,909 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park Friday night.
"We've worked with Steven to not be just a power hitter, but a hitter with power," head coach Tony Robichaux said. He's not giving that helicopter swing that makes him vulnerable to the changeup away. Now he's keeping his chest out over the plate and if he stays doing that, he'll really be good."
Sensley hit a two run shot in the fourth inning and capped off the night with a three run blast in the seventh. He also walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
The victory gave the Cajuns (20-14-1, 9-4-1 Sun Belt) the series win over the Red Wolves and also gave head coach Tony Robichaux his 1,100th career win.
Evan Guillory (2-2) pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in relief to get the win. He allowed two hits and one walk, striking out four in relief of Nick Lee, who was pulled with the bases loaded and two out in the fifth. Lee gave up six hits and two runs with five walks and five strikeouts.
"I thought Nick did okay tonight," Robichaux said. "He worked out of a couple of jams and put up some zeroes. But with the bases loaded and him being over 90 pitches, I didn't want to see his line ruined by a ball in the gap, so we went to Evan. Evan hasn't really pitched in a while and he did great tonight."
Peyton Culbertson, the first of four Arkansas State pitchers, took the loss, falling to 3-3 on the year. He was charged with ten hits and nine runs in 4.1 innings. He walked four and struck out three.
"Our hitters did another good job tonight," Robichaux said. "We're starting to hit one through nine and that's what we need with the way we pitch and play defense."
All nine Cajuns starters garnered at least one hit, with Sensley, Joe Robbins and Zach Lafleur getting two hits apiece.
For the second night in a row, the Cajuns plated two runs in the first inning when Ishmael Edwards led off with a triple to right-center and scored on Brad Antchak's grounder. Sensley walked with two out and scored on Kennon Fontenot's double to give Louisiana a 2-0 lead.
Arkansas State (19-16, 7-7) got on the board in the second inning on a walk to Jake Bakamus, a single by Alex Howard and an RBI ground out by Grant Hawkins. But the Cajuns came right back in their half of the inning when Brenn Conrad walked and Handsome Monica singled. Lafleur sacrificed the runners and Edwards hit a sacrifice fly to right. Antchak followed with an RBI single and came home on Robbins' double to make the score 5-1.
Sensley's first homer, with Robbins on board, increased the lead to 7-1 and after the Red Wolves got a run in the top of the fifth, the Cajuns got a pair in the bottom half on singles by Alex Pinero and Conrad, a sac fly by Monica and an RBI single by Lafleur to make the score 9-2. Another sacrifice fly, this one by Pinero in the sixth gave the Cajuns another run and Sensley capped the night with his three run blast off reliever Derek Birginske, scoring Edwards and Robbins ahead of him.
The Cajuns will send lefty Hogan Harris to the mound tomorrow looking for the series sweep. He will be opposed by right hander Tyler Mitzell. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm, with the broadcast on 96.5 KPEL-FM beginning at 12:30.