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Baseball: Cajuns Win 15th Consecutive Series – Davis, Cajuns blast Warhawks , 9-1

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 17, 2014

UL’s red-hot hitting third baseman Greg Davis (39) celebrates with teammate Dylan Butler (15) after hitting a solo blast Friday during the Cajuns’ 9-1 win over ULM. (Photo: Leslie Westbrook/The Advertiser )

Click here for the photo gallery of the Friday game.

Combined with Thursday night’s 12-9 victory, that guarantees UL a win in all 14 of its weekend series this year.

The Cajuns have never before won each weekend series in a season.

"That means a lot," Leonards said. "We go out every weekend, and that’s our goal. … That’s how you become a good team. That’s what good teams do."

Baranik, working on a predetermined pitch count and throwing 45 over 4.0 innings, got the win and improved to 10-1 to become the first Cajun pitcher with double-digit victories since Hunter Moody had 12 in 2006.

Plitt recorded his third save of the season, and allowed just three hits and no runs over his 5.0 innings.

"I’ve been struggling as of late, really struggling," Plitt said. "I was just trying to get back in rhythm."

He did just that.

Baranik retired the side in order in his final inning, and – with his fastball working well, helping him get ahead of hitters – Plitt did the same in the fifth and sixth.

"Carson (Baranik) coming and setting the tempo right for the day, and going in and trying to match that, (was key)," Plitt said.

Plitt struck out the three Warhawk batters he faced in the sixth – all looking.

"(That) lets you know you’re doing your job," Plitt said of the infrequent feat.

With Greg Milhorn struggling in his start Thursday, Plitt now becomes a candidate to be UL’s fourth starter if it needs one at the conference tourney in Mobile.

"He could," said Robichaux, who added that he remains confident in Milhorn too. "You saw tonight he (Plitt) is not just a one-inning or a two-inning guy."

ULM – which can qualify for the eight-team SBC tournament with a win today, but would need help if it were to lose – jumped to a 1-0 lead as Jacob Stockton tripled in Trent Lucas in the second inning.

But solo homers by Davis off the scoreboard in left-center in the bottom of the second and by Strentz high into the trees in left in the third put UL ahead to stay, and Jace Conrad’s RBI-double made it 3-1 going into the fourth.

The Cajuns went on to score two runs in the fifth (Seth Harrison’s doubled in Leonards, and Harrison scored on Tyler Girouard’s odd-hop double), three in the sixth (after Blake Trahan advanced to third on a throwing error and scored, Leonards had a two-run single to right that scored Strentz and Kyle Clement) and one in the seventh (Clement drove in Chase Compton, who was hit).

"We hit the ball pretty well, which is pretty easy to do whenever they’re only gonna score one run," Leonards said. "(That) takes a lot of pressure off us. … We can just go out there and focus on approach, and just stick with it."

LAGNIAPPE: Heading into the final day of Sun Belt play, No. 1 seed UL still can face South Alabama, ULM, UALR or Troy when the conference tourney opens Wednesday. … Conrad and UL pitcher Cody Boutte are among 80 players named to the watch list for Gregg Olson Award, which honors the season’s best "breakout" player in college baseball. Boutte (7-0) is UL’s scheduled starter today, and – like Baranik – will be on a limited pitch count. … UL is now one win away from tying its school record of 49 victories, which was reached three times previously, the last time in 2000. … Trahan was healthy but didn’t start Friday, leaving Conrad as the only Cajun to start all 55 games this season. Usual third baseman Leonard started in Trahan’s spot at short, allowing Davis and his hot bat to start at third. … Davis now has three homers this season, all in UL’s last four games. He also has 13 RBI in that span. … Compton has now reached in 17 straight games. … UL’s 25 Sun Belt victories are its most-ever in conference play. The previous best was 24 in 1999. … With 11 Friday, UL has double-digit hits in 37-of-55 games this season. The Cajuns are 26-0 when scoring eight or more runs. … UL is now 17-1 against in-state schools this year, with only a loss to New Orleans. It has won 11 straight series games vs. ULM. … The Cajuns are 13-0 against left-handed starters this season. ULM’s scheduled starter today, Chad Miller, is a lefty.

UL Monroe at No. 3 UL

GAME: 3 p.m., Saturday, Tigue Moore Field.

RECORDS: ULM 22-33, 11-18; No. 3 UL 48-7, 215-4.

RADIO: KPEL 96.5 FM with Jay Walker

TV: KLAF with Dan McDonald (play-by-play) and Kevin Cantrelle (analysis)

PITCHING MATCHUP: UL senior LHP Cody Boutte (7-0, 2.66 ERA) vs. senior LHP Chad Miller (2-2, 5.84 ERA)