Baseball: Perrin closes Cajuns win after Burk's elbow tightens
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 10, 2019
It did not all go as scripted.
But the pitching plan worked as UL beat Georgia State 2-0 Friday night in the opening outing of their three-game Sun Belt Conference series, the final at home for the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2019.
Starter Jack Burk and reliever Austin Perrin combined on a five-hit shutout on M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Burk (3-2) went 5.0 innings for the 23-28 Cajuns, who improved to 11-14 in Sun Belt play against the team with the worst record in the league at 14-36 and 5-20 now.
Perrin took care of the rest, coming in a little earlier than expected because Burk — who had six strikeouts and no walks with just two hits allowed — needed to exit early.
“Jack did a great job,” Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said.
“He had a little tender elbow after he came in that last inning. … He said his elbow was a little tight.”
With the Cajuns opening their final series of the season a day earlier than usual — on Thursday night, at UL Monroe — Robichaux was not about to take any chances.
“So we went ahead and decided to take him out,” he said. “He didn’t feel a pop, or anything like that. … Hopefully maybe it’s nothing but an anti-inflammatory and we’ll get him up and running next week. We’ll see.”
Burk probably would have gone at least one more inning if it were not for the elbow, according to Robichaux.
So enter Perrin, who allowed just three hits, struck out five and walked only one.
“Those two guys, they really work well together,” Robichaux said. “One guy (Burk) has got that fastball turning down under the elbows. The other one’s got that changeup running out.”
Perrin allowed a leadoff single in the sixth then got three straight outs.
Georgia State put a man on first with two out in the seventh, but Perrin got a groundball to end the half-inning. The Panthers had runners on first and seventh with two out in the eighth, but a flyball out to left ended the threat.
Perrin got two strikeouts and a groundout to end it.
“I knew I was first out; I wasn’t really sure when I was gonna go in,” Perrin said. “Jack was cruising, and then he came up with the elbow, and then I just went down and threw about 10-to-12 pitches (in the bullpen).
“I had a little bit more time than I needed on the mound, so I was ready to go.”
Right fielder Orynn Veillon singled, stole second, stole third and scored on catcher Handsome Monica’s sacrifice fly to centerfield to give UL a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
“I’ve just been trying to get on base more and trying to steal some bags a little bit more,” Veillon said. “The home runs will come, but when I’m on base I try to cause a little chaos and just move myself so I can get in scoring position and they can move me in.”
Centerfielder Brennan Breaux walked, moved to third on designated hitter Tremaine Spears’ double and scored on a passed ball for an insurances run that made it 2-0 in the fifth.
That spoiled an 11-strikeout effort by Hunter Gaddis, a Major League Baseball draft prospect who allowed just five hits in a complete-game outing.
“We knew that (Gaddis’) record (1-7) doesn’t really reflect the stuff that he has,” Veillon said. “He was a good arm.
“We had a plan just to stay on him, and my plan was just to sit on a pitch, and my first at-bat I got my slider, and second at-bat I knew he probably was gonna try to gas me up, so I was sitting on a fastball.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Veillon went 2-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 15 straight games, topping the season-high set by Hayden Cantrelle and later matched by Todd Lott. … Lott is hitting .397 during the streak. … The Cajuns have now registered two consecutive Friday-night shutouts with Burk and Perrin on the mound, also winning 10-0 at Coastal Carolina last week.
UL and Georgia State play the middle outing in their three-game series at 4 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting.
RAGIN’ CAJUNS BASEBALL
UL (23-28, 11-14 in the Sun Belt) vs. GEORGIA STATE (14-36, 5-20)
WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park
RADIO: KPEL 96.5 FM with Jay Walker (play-by-play) and Brad Topham (color)
UL PITCHER: Brandon Young