In their second-to-last home weekend series of the 2023 season, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns hosted the #6 ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Game one was an offensive explosion as the Cajuns came out on top 11-9.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Payton Eeles started the game off with a single down the middle, then stole second base and made it to third on a fly out by Graham Brown. Caden Bodine’s double down the first baseline allowed Eeles to score and then Bdoine made it home off Zack Beach’s single to take the early two-run lead.
At the bottom of the first, the Cajuns responded with four runs. Heath Hood with two outs on the board hit a single to third base but still was safe. Conor Higgs was hit by a pitch and Julian Brock made it to first on a fielding error to first base. Hood and Higgs scored to tie the game on the bad throw. Carson Roccaforte hit a single to advance Brock and both scored as well on John Taylor’s double into right-center field. Taylor got tagged out at third and the first inning ended with the Cajuns up 4-2.
The Chanticleers tied the game at the top of the third inning. Derek Bender doubled into left field which allowed Brown to score and Bodine to advance to third base. Dylan Theut came in for starting pitcher Cooper Rawls, who ended the day with one strikeout and four earned runs. Bodine eventually scored on Chad Born’s fly-out.
Louisiana responded in a big way at the bottom of the frame. It didn’t start off well when Kyle DeBarge and Hood struck out. Higgs got things started with a single and stole second. After that, Brock and Roccaforte hit RBI doubles, then Taylor recorded an RBI single, and Will Veillon drove in Taylor and proceeded to steal third base the next play. Max Marusak made it a 9-4 game with an RBI single to the shortstop that capped off a five-run fifth inning.
After triple groundouts by Coastal in the fourth, DeBarge stole home for the Ragin’ Cajuns to add an extra insurance run.
At the end of the seventh inning, Theut walked off the field under his own power but seemed to have injured his throwing elbow against Bodine for the final strikeout. He would end the day with a couple of K’s in five full innings.
Nick Lucky hit a solo home run at the top of the eighth over the right field to cut the Coastal Carolina deficit to five.
At the bottom of the eighth, Veillon hit a ground-rule double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. He would make it 11-5 in favor of Louisiana off of DeBarge’s bunt single.
Coastal would add four more runs in the ninth, including a three-run homer by Beach but Louisiana would hang on 11-9 as they take the series lead and get their 29th win of the season.
BIG NUMBER: 28
The bats were on fire, especially early in the game as there were 28 total hits in Friday night’s game as the Cajuns had 16 hits compared to the Chanticleers’ 12.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: John Taylor
Taylor was super efficient tonight as he went 3/4 with three RBIs and a run scored in the third inning as the Cajuns defeated Coastal Carolina 11-9.
UP NEXT: Game two of the Cajuns vs Chanticleers series will begin tomorrow April 29th at 4:00 p.m.