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Tyler Benzel's RBI single in the eighth gave the Cajuns a 6-5 win.
View larger Courtesy: RaginCajuns.com
Tyler Benzel’s RBI single in the eighth gave the Cajuns a 6-5 win.

LAFAYETTELouisiana posted its first home Sun Belt Conference series sweep of the season Saturday as the Ragin’ Cajuns muscled past the 22nd-ranked New Orleans Privateers 6-5 on Senior Day at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Once the dust settled from the Cajuns’ series sweep, Louisiana (28-27, 16-14 Sun Belt) clinched the No. 6 seed in next week’s Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship. The Cajuns will face No. 3 Troy at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at “The Tigue”.
A seventh-inning rally by UNO marred senior Brent Solich’s (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) chance at a victory on “Senior Day” as he was dealt the no-decision. Solich allowed five runs on seven hits with a season-high-tying five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Despite blowing his third save of the season, Justin Robichaux (Crowley, La.) moved to 3-0, tossing 1 1/3 of scoreless relief. John Zorich (Stafford, Va.) earned his first career save retiring the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
UNO’s Bryan Cryer was also the recipient of a no-decision as the Cajuns tapped him for five runs on six hits in six innings. Ryan O’Shea (2-2) suffered the loss in relief, allowing the winning run on three hits in two innings.
Tyler Benzel (Groveland, Fla.) provided the game-winning run, going 2-for-3 with a RBI in the eighth. Nolan Gisclair (Marrero, La.) finished 2-for-3 with a two-run home run.
Aggressive base-running and a would-be inning-ending fly ball that was dropped in the outfield resulted in New Orleans taking an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Johnny Giavotella led off with a double into the left-center gap and tried to leg it out into a triple, but was thrown out at third for the first out.
Ryan Eden followed with the Privateers’ second straight double and would later come around to score on a two-base error by Gisclair for a 2-0 UNO edge.
Tempers began to flare in the bottom of the first, but not before the Cajuns cut UNO’s lead in half, 2-1. A passed ball courtesy of Josh Vander Hey scored Matt Goulas (New Iberia, La.) for the Cajuns’ first run. The Cajuns were on the cusp of overtaking the Privateers after loading the bases with one out. However, Cryer caught Dillon Guillory (Scott, La.) leaning a little too far off third and eventually retired him after a 1-2-5 rundown.
Louisiana avoided a big inning by UNO as Solich, with runners at the corners, forced Vander Hey to hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to end the third.
The Cajuns hung back-to-back two-spots in the third and fourth for a 5-2 lead. Guillory’s RBI single knotted the game at 2-2 and a wild pitch later scored the go-ahead run in Goulas for a 3-2 lead in the third. A heated exchange between the two teams nearly escalated when Guillory was ejected after he steamrolled Vander Hey at the plate. Tempers eventually subsided as the Cajuns held on to a 3-2 after three innings.
In the fourth, Gisclair snapped a 3-for-28 slump as he slammed Cryer’s initial offering to left field for a two-run blast and a 5-2 Cajuns lead.
After Solich and the Cajuns held the Privateers off the scoreboard for five straight innings, UNO scored three runs in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. Solich left the game with a two-run lead, 5-3, when he was replaced by Robichaux. But, Robichaux would eventually allow the two inherited runners to score on Jeff Lanning’s two-RBI single up the middle that tied the game.
Louisiana went ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Blaine LaFleur (Opelousas, La.) opened the eighth with a triple off the wall in right-center. Two batters later, Benzel’s chopping RBI single bounced over the head of shortstop Justin Edwards to score LaFleur for a 6-5 lead.
Zorich faced his biggest challenge of the season, coming on in the ninth inning. The left-handed senior retired the side the clinch the series sweep for the Cajuns.
Louisiana, the No. 6 seed, will open the first round of the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. against No. 3 seed Troy.
Louisiana-Lafayette 6, New Orleans 5 (May 17, 2008 at Lafayette, La.)
New Orleans……… 200 000 300  –  5  8  1      (38-17, 18-11 SUN BELT)
Louisiana-Lafayette. 102 200 01X  –  6  9  3      (28-27, 16-14 SUN BELT)
Pitchers: New Orleans – Cryer, Bryan; O’Shea, Ryan(7). Louisiana-Lafayette – Solich, Brent; Robichaux, Justin(7); Zorich, John(9).
Win-Robichaux, Justin(3-0)  Save-Zorich, John(1)  Loss-O’Shea, Ryan(2-2)  T-2:50  A-1941
HR UL – Gisclair, Nolan (7).
Game notes:
UL catcher Dillon Guillory ejected in bottom of the third inning