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Baseball: Louisiana Defeats No. 12 Southern Miss 7-4 To Split Series
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns baseball team defeated No. 12 Southern Miss 7-4 on Wednesday night to split the two-game series at Pete Taylor Park.
The win against the Golden Eagles (20-8) is the fifth against a ranked opponent for the Ragin' Cajuns (13-16) this season as they are now 6-2 in the midweek.
Freshman Brett Williams claimed his first collegiate victory for the Cajuns tossing 2.2 innings in relief allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Senior Logan Stoelke picked up his seventh save of the year with a scoreless inning in the ninth.
USM starter Cody Carroll was handed his second loss of the year after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks in 2.0 innings of work.
LEADING THE CAJUNS
Senior Kennon Fontenot reached base five times on the night going 2-for-2 with two walks and was hit by a pitch. Fontenot increased his hit streak to nine games, while freshman Hayden Cantrelle moved his hit streak to a team-best 13 games going 1-for-4 with a double, walk and scored a run.
Zach LaFleur also had a pair of hits in the game with two doubles and two RBI. Gavin Bourgeois and Hunter Kasuls each drove in two runs.
On the mound, freshman starter Brock Batty struck out a career-best five limiting Southern Miss to two runs on two hits in 3.2 innings. Junior Grant Cox was outstanding in relief throwing 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Louisiana jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Cantrelle came home to score on an RBI groundout to shortstop by Kasuls. With two outs and the bases loaded, LaFleur drove a double down the right field line to score two more runs and give the Cajuns a 3-0 edge.
The Golden Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the second as Hunter Slater scored on a ground ball double play with the bases loaded and no outs.
The Ragin' Cajuns added three more runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead. Bourgeois brought home the first run of the inning on a bases loaded walk with one out. Later in inning, Kole McKinnon and Daniel Lahare scored on an RBI ground out to first base by Kasuls and a throwing error by Slater.
Southern Miss cut into the lead in the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Cole Donaldson to make the score 6-2.
The Golden Eagles pulled within two runs in the bottom of the seventh scoring a pair of runs on an RBI single to left by Fred Franklin and a fielder's choice sac fly to left field by Matt Wallner.
The Cajuns got a big insurance run in the top of the eighth when Bourgeois brought home Lahare on a bunt single to give Louisiana a 7-4 edge.
Cox and Stoelke combined to keep USM from getting a runner in scoring position in the final two frames to seal the victory.
The Ragin' Cajuns open a five-game homestand at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park with the first of three games against UT Arlington starting Friday at 6 p.m. Game two of the series is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, while first pitch of the series finale will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
For the latest updates on Ragin' Cajuns baseball, follow Ragin' Cajuns baseball on Facebook (RaginCajunsBaseball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsBSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsBSB) or check RaginCajuns.com.
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