With the season coming down to the wire, every win matters.
Louisiana (26-17, 15-7 SBC) and UTA (14-32, 6-16 SBC) learned that tonight, as the two teams duked it out at ML Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park tonight. Connor Kimple would deliver when needed with a walk-off single in the 9th to win 4-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The game started with UTA’s first three hitters making hard contact with the baseball, two of the first three reaching with a single. However, Brandon Talley and the Cajuns defense were able to get them out of the inning.
Connor Kimple led off with a triple in the bottom of the frame, but the next three Cajun batters couldn’t get him home. The score remained 1-0 after one.
Kimple would get the Cajuns going again in the bottom of the 3rd, hitting a single to left and then stealing second two pitches later. Similar story to the first inning would ensue, as the Mavericks would find their way out of the inning unharmed.
In the bottom of the fourth, Tyler Robertson reached with a triple in the left field gap, and then Kyle DeBarge got him home to make it 1-0 Louisiana. The bunt by DeBarge was his 8th sacrifice bunt of the year. Heath Hood would strikeout to end the inning, with the Cajuns holding a 1-0 lead.
UTA would start the 6th with two straight singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. The Mavericks would load the bases on an error by DeBarge, his 1st since March 25 against South Alabama (23 games). Wilson Galvan would plate two Mavericks on a double to the center field wall to put UTA in front 2-1 in the 6th. Bo Bonds would relieve Brandon Talley, who threw 5.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 runs (both earned), striking out 7 as well. The bleeding wouldn’t stop there, as Matt Cavanagh would single through the right side of the infield to score another run and increase the Maverick lead to 3-1. Bo Bonds would pitch well in relief however and get the Cajuns out of the inning.
In the bottom of the 6th, Carson Roccaforte would reach on a single, steal second, and then advanced to third on a Julian Brock groundout. Tyler Robertson would then reach on a 2-out walk, which was the first walk by either team in the contest. Robertson would steal second shortly after to put both runners in scoring position for the Cajuns. DeBarge would come through big for Louisiana as he hits a single up the middle to score two and tie the game at 3-3 in the 6th. DeBarge would then steal second for the third Louisiana stolen base of the inning, but a Hood flyout would leave the game tied.
We go to the 8th, where Carson Roccaforte reached on a wild strike three, but would be tagged out stealing second. UTA would continue their great defensive play and get out of the inning without allowing a run.
In the ninth, Bonds would walk the first Mavericks batter, but a strikeout-tag double play would get Louisiana out of the frame.
In the bottom of the frame, DeBarge would get a lead off single and then reach second on a error by UTA. Then, with runners on first and second, Brandon would walk to load the bases with nobody out.
With the bases loaded, a grounder to 3rd would catch the lead runner at the plate. Bases remained loaded with one out, and Connor Kimple would be the hero with a walk off single to win 4-3.
BIG NUMBER: 8
Louisiana gave up 8 hits in the contest.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kyle DeBarge
DeBarge went 2-3 in the contest with a single. He also had a team-high 3 RBIs in the game. DeBarge also made a few key plays defensively, including the tag on the 9th inning double play.
UP NEXT: Louisiana (26-17, 15-7 SBC) and UTA (14-32, 6-16 SBC) will meet tomorrow for Game 2 of the series. First pitch at Russo Park is scheduled for 4:00pm.