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Baseball: Double Delight - Ragin' Cajuns win two wild ones over Maryland + video & photo gallery

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Feb. 2, 2019

He was working a perfect game one out into his half of the sixth inning.

Two-and-a-half hours later, Dalton Horton watched as UL beat Maryland 4-3 in the 14th inning.

The madness finally ended as Jonathan Windham came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, and an error by Maryland shortstop Benjamin Cowles on Windham’s hot grounder allowed Daniel Lahare to come across.

“I’ve been a part of all types of baseball games in my career,” said Horton, a fourth-year junior who transferred to UL after two seasons at Texas Christian. “I’d rank it up there as one of the more interesting games.”

More: TCU-transfer Horton looks the part in UL win over Texas

UL's Dalton Horton went five-plus inning with a perfect game in a 4-3 win over Maryland that lasted 14 innings Saturday.Buy Photo

UL's Dalton Horton went five-plus inning with a perfect game in a 4-3 win over Maryland that lasted 14 innings Saturday. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)

Click here for game photo gallery.

Click here for walk-off video in 14th inning win.

The Ragin’ Cajuns, off to a 1-7 start before Saturday, snapped a four-game losing streak.

They did it as Lahare was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a throwing error by pitcher Sean Heine, went to third when Cantrelle reached on a fielder’s choice and scored only after Cantrelle moved to second and pinch-hitter Colton Frank was intentionally walked to load the bases.

With that, Horton’s strong start was not wasted — a potential turning point for the Cajuns.

“We’ve lost a lot of close games, a lot of tough games this year,” Horton said. “We’ve been so close in a lot of games. It gets frustrating.

“But a shout out to the bullpen, shout out to our hitters. They just keep grinding throughout the year, you know? One game they may not be doing the best, one game they may be on top of it.

“But shout out to them for grinding through and just continuing to give us a chance to win,” Horton added. “A game like this — you know, you win one close game, we could reel off however many more after this. This is a big thing for this team, and I think it will go a long way.”

He was right, at least in the short term.

UL rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth as the Cajuns beat Maryland 2-1 in the nightcap despite producing just two hits.

"You got two Ws," Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said. "How's that happen? It happens over relevant pitching." 

More: Too many errors cost the Cajuns in 4-2 loss to Maryland

WHAT HAPPENED, GAME 2

UL starter Austin Perrin pitched four scoreless innings before Maryland got to him in the fifth, when Sebastian Holte-Macera singled up the middle and later scored on Kody Milton’s sacrifice bunt.

Relievers Grant Cox and Blake Schultz both got strikeouts to help the Cajuns escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Schultz, who pitched with command to pick up the win, later delivered inning-ending strikeouts again in the top of the eighth and ninth.

UL left the bases loaded in the eighth.

But the Cajuns took care of business in the ninth as Adam Mitchell, walked, Hayden Cantrelle bunted his way on and advanced to second on a same-play error that also moved Mitchell to third and O'Neal Lochridge's suicide bunt scored Mitchell on a fielder's choice to tie it.

With the bases later loaded on Todd Lott's sac bunt and an intentional walk to Brennan Breaux, backup catcher Sebastian Toro reached on a throwing error to home by Maryland first baseman Milton, allowing Cantrelle to come across with the comeback run.

WHAT HAPPENED, GAME 1

UL took a 2-0 lead in the second, when Toro’s two-RBI single scored Lott and Orynn Veillon.

Maryland got the two back in the sixth, when Chris Alleyne delivered an RBI-triple and Caleb Walls’ sacrifice bunt scored Alleyne.

The triple came one at-bat after Tommy Gardiner’s single broke up Horton’s perfect game with one out in the sixth.

Horton went 6.2 innings, giving up just four hits and three runs — all earned — while striking out five.

“I threw the same pitches I threw the first two outings,” he said. “I just cleaned up my mechanics a little bit. I figured out why I’d been kind of all over the place.”

Related: Lots of questions for Cajuns pitching staff led by Leger

Maryland took a 3-2 lead with an RBI-double to left center by Cowles that chased Horton.

The Cajuns tied it on a bases-loaded passed ball in the bottom of the ninth that scored Gavin Bourgeois.

UL ran itself out of the 10th, as Lott tried to unsuccessfully steal third with two outs.

In the 11th, Windham was tagged out trying to score on Nathan Camp’s suicide squeeze.

UL stranded a man at second as Lott struck out to end the 12th.

With men on first and second in the 13th, UL's Handsome Monica was robbed by Alleyne in centerfield. Alleyne banged against the wall to make the grab. His glasses went flying, but the ball was secured.

More: With UL's Monica back, Cajuns have plan behind plate

LAGNIAPPE

Freshman Connor Cooke pitched the final inning of Game 1 in relief of Michael Leaumont, who went 4.1 shutout innings, and picked up the win. … Connor Dupuy started again at second over Hunter Kasuls (broken nose). … UL went just 1-of-19 with runners in scoring position but stole seven bases in Game 1 of the doubleheader, and 0-for-9 in Game 2. Attendance for Game 1 was announced at 4,502, but actual was much less.

UP NEXT

UL plays non-conference games Tuesday night at Nicholls and Wednesday night at McNeese, both Southland Conference opponents.

More: UL shortstop Cantrelle assumes new second-year role


 



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