LAFAYETTE, La. – Despite a great start on the mound by junior Austin Robichaux, the top-ranked and No. 6 national seed Louisiana baseball team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Jackson State in the Lafayette Regional opener on Friday night at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
“I think Austin did a great job setting a great tempo for us and attacking with his fastball,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “I thought Blake Trahan and the guys did a great job of playing really good defense, and that’s what you want to do. You want to pitch and play defense, and from there you want to try to get timely hitting. They got the one timely hit, and we didn’t get a timely hit when we needed it. That’s the difference in the ball game.
“We give their guys credit, they threw strikes, they came into a tough venue, and pitched the way they needed to pitch to try to win a ball game. The only thing we can do with something like that is keep matching him. And I’m really proud of the way Austin kept going back out and matching him, and the way we continued to play sound defense. We just never could get the right hit at the right time.”
The loss snaps the Cajuns’ (53-8) nation leading 10-game win streak and hands the squad its sixth loss at home this season. The shutout loss is the first since the last game of the 2012 season against ULM.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will face San Diego State (42-20) in a 1 p.m. elimination game tomorrow at “the Tigue”. The winner would face the loser of the Jackson State/Mississippi State winner’s bracket game (Saturday 6 p.m.) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Robichaux was tabbed with the loss despite holding the Tigers (32-23) to just one run on four hits in eight innings to fall to 7-3 on the year. The right-hander stuck out six in the outing and did now allow a walk, but did hit three batters.
Vincent Athonia picked up the victory for JSU throwing six scoreless innings scattering five hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Trahan led the Ragin’ Cajuns offensively going 3-for-4 at the plate, while Caleb Adams was 1-for-1 with three walks. Senior Chase Compton set a new school record as he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning for the 22nd time on the year breaking the previous record held by teammate Michael Strentz.
Jackson State posted the only run of the game in the top of the fourth as Melvin Rodriguez singled up the middle to score Desmond Russell from second with two outs. Russell reached on a one-out double down the left field line.
Alexander Juday earned his third save of the year coming on in the seventh to throw three scoreless with two strikeouts to close out the game.
Carson Baranik (10-1, 3.30 ERA) will make the start for the Cajuns against the Aztecs tomorrow, while SDSU will counter right right-hander Bubba Derby (8-3, 2.69 ERA). The meeting will be the first ever between the two teams.