Baseball: Cajuns claim revenge win over SLU
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, April 21, 2015
HAMMOND – After failing to turn a key double play in a home loss to Southeastern Louisiana one week earlier, the UL baseball team made certain that didn’t happen again.
In fact, the Ragin’ Cajuns made triple-sure of it.
With three double plays, some solid pitching, Blake Trahan’s 3-for-4 hitting with two RBIs, Kyle Clement’s solo home run, a big Brian Mills catch and some almost-needed insurance runs, UL avenged its two-run loss to the Lions and beat SLU 7-2 on Tuesday night at Alumni Field here.
With the midweek non-conference win, UL improved to 24-15 while Southland Conference-member Southeastern fell to 30-12.
“We came in here and played a complete game,” Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said, “and that’s what it was gonna take, because he (SLU coach Matt Riser) has got a good team. They didn’t quit all the way down to the end there.
“This is a nice win for us, to be able to do what we needed to do here – and that was to score early, build and pitch,” added Robichaux, whose Cajuns play host tonight to SWAC-member Southern in another non-conference game. “We did it all, and we turned the groundball double plays when we needed to, so that’s a good quality win for us on the road here.”
SLU could have gotten out of the top of the first with a double-play ball of its own, but instead an E4 allowed Trahan – who opened with a single – to come across with UL’s first run. Stefan Troclair, who singled as well to extend his hitting streak to nine games, followed with the second when Dylan Butler hit into a fielder’s choice.
The first of UL’s trio of DPs came when Julian Service lined a shot back to Cajun starter Will Bacon (2-3), who got the win after allowing four hits and no runs while going 3.0 predetermined innings. Bacon easily doubled up Lions leadoff hitter Jocaon Seward for the game’s first two outs.
The Lions later had runners at second and third in the bottom of the third with two out, but Mills made a diving catch in left to save two runs and send the Ragin’ Cajuns into the fourth still up 2-0.
“That was a big play to get out of the inning with no runs,” Bacon said.
“I definitely could tell he (Mills) was close enough to maybe dive and catch it, and then he kind of dove and rolled, and I wasn’t sure if he caught it. But he came up with the ball, so it was a great play.”
With runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the fourth, UL turned a 6-4-3 double play.
Clement delivered his homer to right in the fifth to make it 3-0, and in the bottom half of the inning – with a runner on first and one out – the Cajuns turned a second 6-4-3 double play.
Both would help later on, as would the extra runs UL added.
Trahan’s sac fly in the sixth scored Evan Powell and put UL up 4-0, and after a pitching change Clement singled in Mills to make it 5-0.
Trahan delivered a double down the left-field line to score Powell, tacking on yet another UL run, and pinch-runner Jam Williams scored on Nick Thurman’s RBI-groundout in the ninth.
After UL reliever Colton Lee allowed only two hits in 4.0 scoreless innings and Chris Charpentier pitched a quick eighth, meanwhile, Charpentier got in a bit of trouble in the ninth.
Cajun closer Dylan Moore entered with the bases loaded and no outs, but after two inherited runners scored Trahan ended things with a nifty throw from deep in the hole at short.
“In the beginning of the season we’d get two, three runs on somebody, then shut it down, think that was enough,” Clement said. “But all it takes is a couple walks and a big hit, and they’re right back in the ballgame, so those insurance runs are big.”
Robichaux could not agree more, especially after UL’s 5-3 loss to the Lions last week.
“That’s the difference,” he said. “You’ve got a cushion. … That’s what I went out and told ’em (in the ninth), is, ‘Just slow things down.’ ”
Because the Cajuns did, UL got a much-wanted win.
“They got us at home,” Clement said, “so we really wanted to come in here and kind of strike back at their place.”
Southern at UL
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday.
RECORDS: SU 13-18; UL 24-15.
WHERE: M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field
RADIO: 1420 AM with Jay Walker
UL PITCHER: Eric Carter (1-1, 3.65 ERA)