home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Baseball: Compton home run late powers UL past SLU for win No. 40 – Cajuns host Lions Wednesday

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, April 30, 2014

On a night lightning flashed in the outfield for the final few innings, UL first baseman Chase Compton delivered a thunderous ninth-inning homer to pry the No. 2-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns from a jam Tuesday.

UL beat Southeastern Louisiana 6-5 in a non-conference game at Alumni Field here, but not before the Cajuns squandered a 4-1 lead and – after Compton delivered a two-run shot to right, taking Dylan Butler along for the ride – sweated things out some more.

After allowing the Southland Conference’s Lions three runs and a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth, the 40-6 Cajuns – the country’s first team with 40 wins this year, and hosts to SLU tonight – were down to their last out after Butler reached on a fielder’s choice.

But Compton came through, setting off quite a Cajun celebration.

"We got pretty emotional about it," UL catcher Michael Strentz said, "because the other team was pretty much talking … all night and ran their mouth.

"So whenever he hit it, we just exploded, and I guess all the pride of our team came out."

Compton suggested he was well prepared.

"We’re always in pressure situations at practice," he said. "That’s what we try to do, is get the big hit, and I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and see what happens."

Even after its 52nd team homer this season, though, UL’s work wasn’t done.

Reliever Ryan Wilson bookended a strikeout with two walks, but got Brett Hoffman to hit into a full-count double play and end things.

It was the fourth save of the season and third since Friday night for Wilson, who got two in a weekend series with Texas State.

Hoffman grounded out to shortstop Blake Trahan, whose throw to second baseman Jace Conrad was relayed to Compton for the scoop at first.

"We’re so good up the middle of the field," UL associate head coach Anthony Robichaux said.

"In that situation," Strentz added, "I’m pretty much confident (Trahan) is gonna turn it over."

The Cajuns came out swinging after leadoff-hitter Caleb Adams was hit. Seth Harrison’s sacrifice fly scored Adams, and Tyler Girouard doubled in Conrad to put UL up 2-0 early.

A second sac fly by Harrison again scored Adams, making it 3-0 in the second.

Centerfielder Harrison ended the inning with an 8-2 strike to Strentz, who blocked the plate and tagged Daniel Midyett to maintain UL’s three-run lead as starter Matt Hicks threw 4.0 scoreless innings with just three hits allowed.

After getting one run in the fifth, SLU had yet another runner thrown out at the plate to end the inning. This time Strentz threw to Trahan and Trahan threw back to Strentz, who tagged Jameson Fisher on a double-steal attempt

UL made it 4-1 in the sixth, when Adams’ sac fly to right scored Greg Davis, who had doubled. SLU got back to within two runs, however, on Hoffman’s sixth-inning solo homer to right off Matt Plitt.

Strentz, though, ended the inning by throwing out Kyle Cedotal trying to steal second.

"Southeastern tries to do a lot of small-ball stuff, and run, and try to get us on our heels, which we really don’t do," Strentz said. "We don’t sit back and wait."

But one of SLU’s three runs off of Greg Milhorn in the eighth did come off a successful double-steal, forcing UL to clean things up in the ninth.

"I don’t know what more you can say about this team and this group of guys – the way they keep fighting ’till the very end, the way they keep coming, in every area of the game," Babineaux said. "Just very, very, pleased, to say the least."

LAGNIAPPE: True freshman Reagan Bazar, UL’s season saves leader, makes his first Cajun career start tonight. … Davis started at third, and usual starter Ryan Leonards (foot) entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth. … The Cajuns played again without head coach Tony Robichaux, who was serving the second game of a four-game suspension for making contact with an umpire. UL’s results count on Robichaux’s record while he’s suspended. Robichaux traveled to Hammond, but wasn’t inside the stadium. … UL is now 11-1 in midweek games, 14-1 against in-state opponents.

LSU at No. 2 UL

WHERE: M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field

WHEN: 6 p.m., Wednesday.

RADIO: KPEL 1420 AM with Jay Walker.

RECORDS: UL 40-6; SLU 27-18.

PITCHING MATCHUP: UL freshman RHP Reagan Bazar (3-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. sophomore RHP Gabe Von Rosenberg (1-0, 3.60 ERA)