At this point, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are playing for their season to continue. On Friday night, they were able to extend it with a 12-6 win over the Texas State Bobcats in a Sun Belt Tournament elimination game.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Louisiana got the scoring going immediately in this one off of the experienced starter for Texas State, Zeke Wood. Max Marusak led off with a double. He wad then bunted over to third and driven in on a sacrifice fly by Carson Roccaforte, giving them a 1-0 lead before many had even settled into their seats.
The Cajuns’ turned to right-hander David Christie on the mound, and his start was not ideal either as a Chase Mora RBI double tied things at one. Christie, however, was able to work out of some jams and settle in a bit after that point.
The Cajuns’ got back to work offensively in the top of the third. Roccaforte came through with his second RBI knock of the contest and that was followed by another run coming from a Bobcat error. That made it 3-1 Louisiana, but the fourth saw even more offense. A Marusak sacrifice fly brought home the fourth run and Conor Higgs doubled to bring numbers five and six. That made it 6-1 Cajuns. The Bobcats got one back in the bottom half but that was answered by a CJ Willis RBI double to make it 7-2.
The Bobcats started the bottom of the fifth with back to back doubles and that ended the night for Christie. Steven Cash came in and limited the damage, but two runs were scored to make it 7-4. The teams then traded single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, making it a 9-6 game as things headed to the eighth.
The Cajuns got some insurance courtesy of Roccaforte who drove in three more on a bases clearing double in the eighth. That made it 12-6 and the game would finish that way. JT Etheridge retired the final six batters in dominant fashion as Louisiana was able to extend their season at least one more day.
BIG NUMBER: 12
The Cajuns will need to score plenty of runs the rest of the way to have a chance in this tournament. They did so in this one, plating 12 runs and taking some of the pressure off of their pitching staff.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carson Roccaforte
Roccaforte has not had the season that some expected, but he might be heating up at the right time. He drove in five runs in this contest and collected a couple of hits which included the knock-out punch in the eighth inning bases clearing double.
UP NEXT: Louisiana moves on to face top seeded Coastal Carolina again, this time at 12:30 P.M. tomorrow. The task will be large, as the Cajuns need to beat them twice while Coastal just needs one win to advance to the championship game.