Mar 8, 2014 12:20 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Junior Jace Conrad brought home the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to lift the seventh ranked Louisiana baseball team to a 5-4 win over Texas Southern in the series opener Friday night at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
"Jace did a great job of waiting for the right pitch and getting the ball out of the infield to win the game for us," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We knew both of the starting pitchers tonight were going to be stingy. Austin (Robichaux) did a great job for us after having the flu earlier this week. He matched their guy, and that is what you have to do on Friday night."
Robichaux went 8.0 innings for the Cajuns (11-2) giving up three runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks. The junior retired 15 straight batters to close out his outing earning a no decision.
"We knew they were going to be well coached," Robichaux stated. "They do a lot of little things well, and spun one inning out of control on us. Austin did a great job of settling in and coming back after that inning to hang a bunch of zeros for us. That gave our hitters some time to score some runs. We've got to clean up a few things defensively after extending a few innings tonight."
Matt Hicks picked up his second win of the year after throwing one inning in relief allowing one unearned run with two strikeouts and a walk.
Felix Gomez was saddled with the loss for Texas Southern (5-10) to fall to 0-3 on the season. Gomez gave up the winning run on two hits and a walk in just 1/3 of an inning.
Louisiana outhit the Tigers 9-5 in the contest with Seth Harrison, Tyler Girouard and Chase Compton each registering two hits. Conrad was 1-for-2 but reached base three times.
Conrad gave the Cajuns a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second singling to left center to score Girouard from second with one out.
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in the top of the third plating three runs in the inning on four singles and a Louisiana error. Texas Southern scored all three runs with less than two outs in the inning.
The Cajuns answered in the bottom half of the third to even the contest at 3-all. With runners on second and third and one out, Blake Trahan doubled to center field to score Compton. Nick Thurman then came in to score on a passed ball with the bases loaded to tie the game.
After two scoreless innings, Thurman singled in Caleb Adams to put the Ragin' Cajuns in front 4-3.
Texas Southern picked up a run in the top of the ninth to extend the game as pinch runner Sayvon O'Neal scored from second with the Cajuns trying to turn a double play to end the contest.
Harrison led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to left center. After Girouard reached on a bunt single and Adams walked, Conrad drove a ball into centerfield to score Harrison from third to win the game.
The Cajuns will go for their fifth consecutive series win tomorrow at 2 p.m. as junior Carson Baranik takes the mound against Texas Southern. Freshman Ryan Rios will make the start for the Tigers.
For a behind the scenes look of Ragin' Cajuns baseball and in-game updates follow the team on twitter @CajunsBaseball.