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Baseball: Clement propels Cajuns in 3-2 win over UTA

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, April 25, 2015



UL’s Stefan Trosclair remains one of the Cajuns’ hottest hitters down the stretch.(Photo: John Rowland/Special to the Advertiser)



Sometimes, simply doing things right is all takes.

After managing just that Friday night, the UL baseball team — error-free for a second straight outing — did it again Saturday night.

And again it paid off.

With Evan Guillory allowing just four hits over 7.0 innings, Chris Charpentier throwing 2.0 innings of perfect relief, Blake Trahan setting a school record behind them and Kyle Clement delivering in the clutch, UL had just what it needed.

Clement beat out an infield grounder to score Evan Powell from third base with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 3-2 win over Texas-Arlington in the middle game of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series that wraps up Sunday afternoon at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

"We just played a good ballgame, and we were able to get that squibber at the end that did them in," said coach Tony Robichaux, whose 27-15 Ragin’ Cajuns won for the fifth straight time and for the 12th time in their last 14 games.

"They’re just playing good, solid baseball right now. We’ve got good pitching. We’ve got good defense. … And we did every little thing right, got every sac down. So we did everything we needed to do to win, and then we got the timely hit."

Dalton DeLeon delivered a two-out RBI single to single in the second to put UT Arlington (17-24) up 1-0, and Eric Tate followed with the same to make it 2-0.

Powell singled in the bottom of the inning and later scored on a double steal, and Trahan tied it with a single up the middle that scored Nick Thurman from second.

It stayed that way until the ninth, but only after Guillory settled in for a 99-pitch outing.

The true freshman received plenty of advice during a meeting on the mound after UTA scored its second run in the second, and he put it to good use.

"Coach Robe came in and told me to settle down," Guillory said.

So, in so many words, did Trahan.

"I told him just pitch with a little more command," Trahan said, "and just really go after hitters."

The result was plenty of groundball work for the Cajun All-American shortstop, as Trahan set a school record with 10 assists. Three others shared the old mark of nine, last reached by Kyle Bostick against Stephen F. Austin in 2009.

"It makes it a lot easier," Guillory said of Trahan’s presence, "because you can just go out there, be comfortable."

After Guillory exited with 62 strikes on his 99 throws, Charpentier took care of the rest with 32 pitches that included 23 strikes.

"I’m glad for him," Robichaux said of Charpentier, "because he’s kind of been a hard-luck guy, throwing an inning here and then a tough inning there. He came in tonight and did exactly what we needed."

Because he did, the table was set for Clement.

Powell singled to left, moved to second on Thurman’s sacrifice bunt and advanced to third when pinch-hitter Brenn Conrad hit into a fielder’s choice.

UTA then intentionally walked leadoff-hitter Trahan, who came into the game hitting a team-high .385, and Trahan subsequently stole second.

Clement figured the Mavericks, looking for a lefty-lefty matchup with reliever Jake Wilcox on the mound, would walk Trahan.

Clement — who homered in Friday’s 7-2 win, and extended his streak of multi-hit games to five straight and 12 in his last 14 games Saturday — was happy to step into the situation he did.

"The pressure is all on the pitcher right there," he said. "I really don’t have any pressure on me. He’s the one who has to make a pitch and throw it over the plate. So, I really just want to patient. … I just was looking for the right pitch."

He got it.

Clement’s grounder went off third baseman Eric Tate’s glove to shortstop Travis Sibley, whose throw to first wasn’t in time — allowing Powell to score from third.

"Kyle did a good job of just staying back," Robichaux said of the 1-1 offering to Clement. "(Wilcox) was throwing hard sliders, and we were gonna have to go the other way."

Clement did just that.

"I actually kind of hit it off the handle a little bit and got some cue-ball spin on it," he said. "I knew I had a chance to run it out, and ran hard and beat it out."

"Kyle’s been swinging it real well," Trahan added. "He’s probably the hottest on our team right now. He didn’t hit it hard, but he finished it, so it will work."

LAGNIAPPE: UL second baseman Stefan Trosclair extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games with a single in the fifth, tying his season high. … With one Saturday, Trahan now has a hit in all but one of UL’s 19 Sun Belt games this year.

Paid (not actual) attendance was announced at 4,073.

TEXAS-ARLINGTON (17-24, 8-12 Sun Belt) at UL (27-15, 12-7)

WHAT: Final game of three-game weekend Sun Belt Conference series

WHERE: M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field

WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday

RADIO: KPEL 96.5 FM with Jay Walker

TV: None

PITCHING MATCHUP: UL freshman RHP Wyatt Marks (4-0, 3.29 ERA) vs. sophomore RHP Joel Kuhnel (2-1, 3.31)