Feb 28, 2014 11:44 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Junior Austin Robichaux notched his second career complete game shutout, striking out 11 as the tenth ranked Louisiana baseball team defeated No. 21 Alabama in the series opener in front of a sellout crowd of 4,040 at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field on Friday night to extend its win streak to nine games.
"You have to match a stingy guy with a stingy guy, and Austin did that tonight," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "Friday night is tough. You aren't going to get a lot of runs. Austin held them down and gave us a chance to win the game."
Robichaux scattered seven hits in the outing to improve to 2-1 on the season lowering his ERA almost a full point to 1.29 after three starts.
Alabama starter Spencer Turnbull was saddled with the loss despite a dominant performance himself. Turnbull held the Cajuns (9-1) to just two runs (none earned) on two hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
"We knew we weren't going to score a lot of runs off of Turnbull," Robichaux noted. "We had to pitch and play defense and try to match him."
Senior Ryan Leonards recorded the only hits of the contest for the Ragin' Cajuns as they were outhit 7-2 by the Crimson Tide (4-4).
The Tide threatened in the top of the first loading the bases on three singles with one out. Robichaux dug in though striking out Casey Hughston and forcing a ground ball out against Kyle Overstreet to end the inning.
"The key to the game tonight was for us to get out of the first inning," Robichaux added. "They had a chance to jump on us early, and Austin did a good job of settling in and working his way out of things."
Louisiana got the offense going in the fourth putting two on with one out, but Turnbull forced a ground ball and a fly out to end the threat and keep things scoreless.
In the top of the six, Alabama notched back-to-back singles with one out, but again Robichaux struck out Hughston and induced an Overstreet ground out to end the threat.
The Cajuns broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh on a Chase Compton squeeze bunt scoring Ryan Wilson from third and Jace Conrad from second. Wilson walked to lead off the inning and then moved to third on a fielding blunder by Turnbull that also advanced Conrad to second.
The Crimson Tide mustered just one runner in the final 3.2 innings as Robichaux retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced in the contest.
The two teams are back at it tomorrow at 2 p.m. at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field as the Ragin' Cajuns look to win their four consecutive series dating back to the 2013 season. Junior Carson Baranik will make the start for Louisiana with a 1-0 record and a team-best 13 strikeouts headed into the series.
The contest can be seen live on myKLAF-TV and ESPN3 with Don Allen making the call and Kevin Cantrelle providing color.
For a behind the scenes look at Cajuns baseball and in-game updates follow the squad on twitter @CajunsBaseball.