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Baseball: Cajuns Become First To Win Three Straight SBC Titles

 

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SAN MARCOS, Texas – The 17th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team became the first program in Sun Belt Conference history to win the tournament title in three consecutive years as the Cajuns shutout Georgia Southern 5-0 in the championship game on Sunday at Bobcat Ballpark.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns (41-19) are tied with Coastal Carolina for the longest active win streak in the country having won ten straight headed into the NCAA Tournament.
 
"I am very proud of our guys and whole coaching staff," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "This is not a very easy thing to do. They may have made it look easy, but this is not an easy thing to do. We stayed the course all year. We felt if we could get off to a good start that Wyatt (Marks) could be really good against these guys. He got out of the jam in the first inning and then really dominated his opponent and gave us a lot of energy.
 
"We knew their guy was going to be good. We got a couple critical hits a critical time in the game, and got a little bit of a cushion. Once we were able to get the ball to Dylan (Moore) after the seventh we knew we had it. I give a lot of credit to the guys for staying the course all year long and it paid off for us."
 
Louisiana had five players named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament team with senior catcher Nick Thurman named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Thurman went 5-for-16 in the tournament with a double, home run, six runs and six RBI.
 
Wyatt Marks, Eric Carter, Dylan Moore and Kyle Clement joined Thurman on the all-tournament team.
 
Marks and Moore combined to post the sixth shutout of the season for Louisiana. Marks (5-6) claimed his fifth win of the season scattering four hits in seven innings of work. The Lafayette, La., native posted a season-high ten strikeouts and did not allow a walk.
 
Moore tied his own school season record with his 13th save of the year going two scoreless innings in relief to close things outs. Moore now has 26 career saves in two seasons with the Cajuns.
 
With the 12 strikeouts on the day, that pushed the Ragin’ Cajuns total to 48 for the tournament which broke the previous record of 45 set in 1994. The Cajuns’ 48 strikeouts came in four games, while the previous record has been registered through six games in 1994.
 
Evan Challenger (7-5) was handed his fifth loss of the year for the Eagles (36-24) after giving up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings.
 
Brenn Conrad led the Cajuns offensively in the contest going 2-for-4 with a double as the team outhit Georgia Southern 8-6.
 
The Cajuns broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth when senior Brian Mills doubled home Thurman on a ball hit down the right field line. In the next at-bat, Joe Robbins brought home Mills on a single through the right side of the infield to give Louisiana a 2-0 edge.
 
Senior Kyle Clement increased the advantage to 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Hunter Kasuls.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-0 lead. Pinch runner Jam Williams scored on a wild pitch by Georgia Southern reliever Connor Simmons to give the Cajuns a four-run edge. Thurman capped the scoring in the game as he crushed a solo homer off of Simmons over the scoreboard in right center.
 
Moore got Cal Baker to ground into a double play to end the contest and secure the progam’s third straight tournament championship.
 
The NCAA will announce the 16 regional host sites on Sunday at 7:30 p.m., while the regional participants will be announced on Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
 
For updates and info on Ragin’ Cajuns baseball, follow the squad on twitter @CajunsBaseball or check RaginCajuns.com.
 

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