Walks Doom Louisiana in Tight 6-5 Loss Against South Alabama
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns lost a hard-fought 6-5 contest against the South Alabama Jaguars to even up their weekend series.
With the loss, Louisiana dropped to 10-12 overall and 1-4 in Sun Belt play this season. Head coach Matt Deggs talked about his team's effort but mentioned the free bases that his pitching staff allowed in the game.
"We had a chance to win it there," Deggs said. "I thought we were a little generous. It goes without saying, you can't be so generous against a really good ball club."
Jacob Schultz started for Louisiana and battled early on before settling in. Two hits and a walk to start the first inning loaded the bases early, but Schultz minimized the damage to one run thanks to a fielder's choice and a double-play.
The Jaguars scored again in the top of the second, but, once again, Schultz escaped a bases loaded jam with a double-play. Seven batters reached base in the first two innings, but South Alabama had only two runs to show for it. Schultz bounced back with a clean third inning, but the Cajuns offense got off to a really slow start. Each of the first nine Louisiana batters were retired without reaching base.
Schultz gave up a one-out double, and, after recording a second out, the nine hole hitter came to the plate. A batter that was 2-24 for the season got a favorable call at the plate, and instead of striking out, a two-out RBI-single stretched the lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Louisiana ended South Alabama's perfect game when Max Marusak bunted for a single in the fourth inning. In the next at-bat, Tyler Robertson was hit by a pitch, and a three-run home run by Carson Roccaforte tied the game up.
A sixth-inning rally decided the game for South Alabama. Schultz gave up three singles to the bottom of the lineup, and his day ended with one out in the frame with the Jaguars up 4-3. Austin Perrin entered in relief for the Cajuns. He got a fly-out for the second out of the inning, but he walked a batter to load the bases, and another walk brought in the fifth run of the game. Tommy Ray came in and walked the third straight batter which scored the eventual game-winning run. He got a fly-out to finally end the frame, but South Alabama's lead was 6-3.
The Cajuns answered with a run on a sacrifice fly-out by Roccaforte in the bottom of the sixth, and Ray kept the Jaguars off the board in the final three innings.
In the ninth inning, Roccaforte homered again to make it 6-5. Jonathan Brandon walked with two outs to bring the winning run to the plate, but a groundout ended the game.
Louisiana had chances to win this game. Walking in two runs in the sixth inning ended up being the difference. The Cajuns pitching staff worked out of trouble multiple times. They stranded 11 base runners in the game, but the Jaguars still came out on top to tie the series.
The Cajuns offense was sink or swim in the contest. They were retired in order without reaching base in six innings. Whenever they had a runner reach base in an inning, they scored at least one run.
Up next, the two teams will battle one more time at Russo Park to determine the winner of the weekend series. Game three is scheduled to start on Sunday, March 26 at 1:00 p.m. Jeff Wilson will get the start for Louisiana.