Contact: Matt Hebert
NATCHITOCHES – The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team scored nine runs after play resumed in the fourth inning of a 3-0 suspended contest with Northwestern State here Wednesday evening at Brown-Stroud Field and held the Demons hitless for six innings in collecting a 12-0 victory.
Louisiana (25-12) and NSU (11-27) were forced to complete the contest on Wednesday after inclement weather suspended the game in the top of the fourth inning back on Wednesday, April 10.
When action resumed with runners on first and second base, the Cajuns utilized back-to-back sacrifice bunts and a two-out RBI single from Jace Conrad to generate two runs and extend their lead to 5-0.
Tyler Girouard homered to lead off and later drove home two runs on a double to produce three of the Cajuns seven runs in the fifth inning that put the Demons away.
Matt Plitt, who had three hitless frames before play was suspended, pitched an additional three innings of hitless baseball. Nick Zaunbrecher, Ben Carter and Ben Frith each tossed a single inning of scoreless baseball to complete the Cajuns first shutout of 2013.
Louisiana returns to M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field for a three-game Sun Belt series with Florida Atlantic Friday-Sunday, April 19-21. The series opener is slated for 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19.
Girouard finished with a game-high four RBI and two home runs. Ryan Leonards kept his hitting streak alive, extending it to 14 games with a single in the fifth inning.
Dex Kjerstad collected a single in the seventh inning for his second hit of the contest giving him multiple-hit games for the 13th time in the past 18 outings. Kjerstad tops the Cajuns with 16 multi-hit games.
The win allowed the Cajuns to complete the season sweep of NSU. In the two meetings the Cajuns outscored the Demons 24-3 (won 12-3 at “The Tigue” on Feb. 20).
Kjerstad broke a scoreless stalemate between Plitt and Dillon Crain with a two-out, two-run home run in the third inning when the contest began back on April 10.
Plitt stranded a Demons runner at third base a third straight inning when he induced a fly out from Will Watson after back-to-back two out singles from Edwin Gomez and Toby Cornejo placed runners on the corners.
Girouard homered leading off the fourth inning with a solo home run off of Crain to increase the Cajuns lead to 3-0. Michael Strentz walked and Seth Harrison picked up an infield single before a weather delay began forcing the contest to be completed a week later.
BASES NOTED: In both of the season meetings the Cajuns used a big inning to distance themselves from the Demons as a nine-run fourth inning broke open a 3-2 contest at “The Tigue” on Feb. 20…Tyler Girouard became the first Cajuns hitter to reach 30 RBI with the completion of the contest extending his season RBI total to 32…Girouard is now tied with Caleb Adams for the team lead with seven home runs…Ryan Leonards' 14-game hitting streak has him tied with the Tyler Girouard for the team's longest hit streak in 2013…During the hit streak, which began March 23 at Middle Tennessee, Leonards is batting .414 and slugging .586 while producing 13 runs and 10 RBI…The Cajuns completed a suspended midweek game for the first time since 2005 when a February contest vs. Sam Houston State was completed in May prior to a regularly scheduled game with the Bearkats at “The Tigue”… Louisiana has won 11 of the past 15 meetings with Northwestern State dating back to 2007…After a three-year hiatus from 2000-02, UL has won 18 of the 27 meetings held since the series resumed in 2003…The shutout was the first for Louisiana in a midweek contest since April 5, 2011 when Jordan Nicholson, Chase Traffica and Caleb Kellogg combined for a shutout of Rice in Houston (W, 2-0).