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Baseball: Hawkins Powers Cajuns Past Lions

Freshman Scott Hawkins had four runs batted in on the night to lead the

Chris Whitehead, Sports Information –

HAMMOND, La.-Designated hitter Scott Hawkins played the best game of his
young career on Tuesday night leading Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team
past in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana, 9-5.

The freshman finished the game 3-for-4 on the evening at the plate. Hawkins
drove in four runs on the night, while scoring a pair. The Collierville,
Tenn., native hit his first homerun of his career.

Offensively, the Cajuns erupted for 13 hits on the night. The 13 hits marks
the fourth time in the last six games the Ragin’ Cajuns have collected 10 or
more hits. Despite the number of hits, UL only had a pair of extra base
hits – Hawkins homerun and a double by third baseman Grant Derouen.

The Ragin’ Cajuns took advantage of three hits in the first inning to take a
2-0 lead over the Lions. John McCarthy started the game with a single up the
middle. McCarthy advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Devon Bourque and
moved to third on a Jameson Parker single. Parker moved to second base on a
wild pitch giving the Cajuns a pair of runners in scoring position.
Following a Cajuns strikeout, Hawkins singled up the middle to plate the
runners and give UL an early 2-0 advantage.

The Cajuns added a run in the top of the sixth inning. Hawkins hit his fist
homerun of his young UL career to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 3-0 lead after
five and a half innings of play.

Cajuns starting pitcher Jason Fernandez rebounded from his rough outing
against South Alabama pitching six shutout innings. The hurler, who was on a
limited pitch count, did not allow a hit in the first three innings.
Fernandez struck out nine batters in six innings of work.

In the seventh inning the Cajuns added some insurance runs. Bourque led off
the inning with a walk and stole second to give UL a runner in scoring
position. A wild pitch advanced Bourque to third base. Jonathan Lucroy
singled through the left side of the infield to plate Bourque. Hawkins
singled to centerfield and advanced on a fielding error by the
centerfielder. Lucroy came around to score on a wild pitch. Derouen doubled
to continue the inning and plate Hawkins and give the Cajuns a 6-0 lead.

In the eighth inning, Devery Van De Keere singled up the middle to start the
inning for the Cajuns. He advanced to third on a McCarthy single through the
right side. McCarthy stole second base to give the Ragin’ Cajuns two runners
in scoring position with no outs. UL loaded the bases as Bourque drew a base
on balls. Parker singled to give the Cajuns their first run of the inning.
Lucroy hit an infield single to score another runner. Hawkins stepped to the
plate with the bases loaded and no outs. The freshman lifted a ball to right
field for a sacrifice fly to plate the third Cajuns runner of the inning. UL
would not score another run in the inning and headed to the bottom of the
inning with a 9-0 lead.

The Cajuns allowed the Lions to get back into the game in the bottom of the
eighth inning. Southeastern Louisiana led off the inning with a single.
With a 3-2 count on the batter pitcher Gregory Harmon hit the Lions batter to
give SLU a pair of runners with no outs. Harmon walked the next batter to
load the bases. The freshman allowed his first run of the season as Richard
Imhoff hit a single through the left side.

Brandt Sanders entered the game in relief of Harmon. Sanders walked the
first batter he faced to plate another Lion runner. Sanders induced a double
play to record the first two outs of the inning however the ground ball
plated another SLU runner. The Lions score another run as Kyle Ginn doubled
over Derouen’s head. Southeastern Louisiana would score another run as Tony
Suarez singled over Parker’s head. The Lions finished the inning scoring
five runs on four hits to cut the lead to 9-5.

Reliever Chad Beck entered the game in the bottom of the ninth. The junior
transfer struck out all three batters he faced to secure the win for the

The Ragin’ Cajuns will return to action on Wednesday as they take on
Northwestern State at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field. The game, which is an added
game to the schedule, is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. UL will host their
first home Sun Belt Conference series on Friday-Sunday as the Cajuns take on
Arkansas State. Game times are 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 2:05 p.m. on Saturday
and Sunday at 1 p.m.