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Baseball: Kasuls Ties Records In Ragin’ Cajuns SBC Tourney Win Over Little Rock

⚾️ MORNING BASEBALL! 🌅 @ragincajunsbsb continues its weather delayed game from Wednesday night with more RBI from Hunter Kasuls. #GeauxCajuns ⚜️ 

LAFAYETTE, La. – Junior Hunter Kasuls tied a program and Sun Belt Conference tournament record with a nine RBI game on Thursday as the second-seeded Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team survived with a 19-16 victory against seventh-seeded Little Rock in a resumed contest at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
 
The nine RBI by Kasuls ties the Sun Belt tournament record set by Raymond Church of FAU in 2010 against FIU. Kasuls also became the third player in program history to drive in nine runs in a game and is the first since Kolin Hatfield had nine RBI at FIU in 2007.
 
Reliever Logan Stoelke claimed the victory for the Ragin’ Cajuns (34-23) to improve to 4-0 on the year. Stoelke went 2.2 innings with four runs on four hits and two walks while posting four strikeouts.
 
Justin Garcia was tabbed with the loss for the Trojans (28-27) after surrendering six runs (three earned) on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 1.1 innings of work.
 
The two teams combined for a tournament record 35 runs, while the 19 runs for Louisiana is also a tournament best. The Ragin’ Cajuns had 15 hits in the contest while drawing a season-best 10 walks. The Cajuns have posted double-digit hits in five straight games and eight of their last nine.
 
LEADING THE CAJUNS
 
Kasuls had three hits in the game with two home runs including a grand slam and two walks. Junior Gavin Bourgeois had a team-best four hits with a walk, drove in a run and scored three times.
 
Junior Daniel Lahare extended his hit streak to 18 games going 1-for-2 at the plate with four walks and scored four times. Todd Lott and Kole McKinnon also notched a pair of hits in the game, while freshman Hayden Cantrelle scored four times.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
 
Little Rock got on the board first in the top of the first inning on Wednesday night with an RBI double to deep right center by Kale Emshoff.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns wasted no time with a response as both Bourgeois and Lahare came home to score on throwing errors by starter Cole Townsend to take a 2-1 lead.
 
Louisiana exploded for five runs in the top of the second to take a 7-1 advantage. A Kasuls two-out grand slam to right field highlighted the scoring in the inning.
 
The Trojans cut the lead to 7-3 in the top of the third on a two-out, two-run double down the right field line by Riley Pittman.
 
Little Rock evened the contest at 7-all in the next frame scoring four runs on two hits including a three-run homer by Emshoff.
 
The Cajuns regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out RBI single to right field by Kasuls to make the score 8-7.
 
After almost a 10-hour delay, Louisiana added a run in the fifth on a Jonathan Windham squeeze bunt to take a 9-7 edge.
 
The Trojans grabbed the lead for the first time in the game in the top of the sixth on a two-out, three-run homer to right field by Troy Alexander.
 
Kasuls put the Ragin’ Cajuns back in front in the bottom half of the sixth with his second home run of the day launching a three-run blast to right field to make the score 12-10. Later in the inning, Kole McKinnon added a run on an RBI single to left field to extend the lead to 13-10.
 
The back-and-forth affair continued in the top of the seventh when Little Rock plated six runs on four hits and three walks to give the Trojans a 16-13 edge. An Alexander two-run double highlighted the scoring in the inning.
 
Louisiana quickly responded in the bottom of the seventh as Lahare singled home Hayden Cantrelle to cut the Little Rock lead to 16-14. With two outs, Kennon Fontenot drove a 2-2 pitch from Garcia well over the fence in left to tie the game at 16-all.
 
The Cajuns tallied the winning run in the in the bottom of the eighth when Zach LaFleur came home to score on a Trojans error. Louisiana added two more runs in the inning on another Little Rock error and a base-loaded walk to Kasuls to make the final 19-16.
 
UP NEXT
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns will face third-seeded Troy in a winner’s bracket game that is schedule for tonight at 7:30 p.m. Louisiana will start junior left-hander Hogan Harris on the mound, while the Trojans will counter with second team All-Sun Belt selection Andrew Crane.
 
For the latest updates on Ragin’ Cajuns baseball, follow Ragin’ Cajuns baseball on Facebook (RaginCajunsBaseball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsBSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsBSB) or check RaginCajuns.com.