Apr 9, 2014 6:55 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - A three-run seventh inning for New Orleans was the difference as the top-ranked Ragin' Cajuns baseball team came up short against the Privateers 8-7 in a non-conference game on Tuesday night at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
"You have to stay away from the three run inning," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "That's number one for us. We overcame the first one, but the second one ended up costing us. I'm proud of the way we fought back after we got behind early."
The Cajuns (30-4, 11-1 Sun Belt) had their six-game win streak snapped and ended a streak of 11 straight wins against in-state opponents and eight straight victories in midweek games.
Louisiana outhit UNO (10-20, 2-10 Southland) 13-12 in the contest led by junior Caleb Adams who tied a season high by going 4-for-4 at the plate with a walk, double and a home run. Adams increased his streak of reaching base to 28 games and now has a hit in 10 straight games.
Jace Conrad also extended his team-best hit streak to 18 games and has reached in 24 straight games after going 2-for-5 with a double.
Reese Kanter led the way offensively for New Orleans going 4-for-5 with a double and scored two runs.
Reliever Nick Zaunbrecher was tabbed with his first loss of the season after giving up three runs on five hits with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings.
The Privateer's Seth Laigast was the winning pitcher limiting the Cajuns to one run on one hit in 2.2 innings of relief. Laigast walked four and struck out four in the outing to improve to 2-2 on the year.
Adams gave the Cajuns a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second as he drove a solo home run over the fence in centerfield. The homer was the seventh of the year for Adams moving him one back of Seth Harrison for the team lead.
The Privateers racked up five runs on three hits and two walks to take a 5-1 lead in the top of the fourth. A Jonathan Santana RBI double highlighted the scoring in the inning for UNO.
The Ragin' Cajuns answered in the bottom half of the fourth plating four runs on four hits to even the game at 5-all. Dylan Butler drove in the first run of the inning tripling off of the wall in left field. Three batters later, with two runners on and two outs Blake Trahan sent a 1-1 pitch well over the fence in left to tie the game. The home run was the second of the year for Trahan.
After two scoreless innings, New Orleans regained the lead scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the seventh. Kanter put the Privateers in front on a RBI single to right field. Jonathan Coco provided the game-winning hit as he drove a two-run triple into the gap in right center to make the score 8-5.
Louisiana cut the UNO advantage to 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh when Conrad singled in Kyle Clement from second with two outs.
The Cajuns loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth on a infield single by Ryan Leonards, but reliever Daniel Martinez came in and got Seth Harrison to strikeout and Clement to ground out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Ragin' Cajuns again threatened. Adams led off the inning with a single and then moved to third on a double down the right field line by Conrad. That brought in reliever Darron McKigney for the Privateers. McKigney struckout Butler swinging and then induced ground outs by Chase Compton and Michael Strentz to end the game and pick up his first save of the season. Adams came home to score on the ball hit by Compton.
"You can't pick or choose the games you lose in your season, but you can choose how you respond," Robichaux added. "That's our goal now as we get back at it tomorrow with McNeese State."
Louisiana continues its five-game week tomorrow at 6 p.m. as the Cajuns head to Lake Charles, La. to face McNeese State at Cowboy Diamond. Freshman left-hander Connor Toups will make his first career start for the Ragin' Cajuns with a 1-0 record and a 1.35 ERA.
Following the contest with the Cowboys, Louisiana will host UALR in a three-game conference series at the Tigue. The first game is slated for Friday at 6 p.m, while Saturday is set for 6 p.m. and Sunday's contest is at 1 p.m.