The 19th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team posted its fifth shutout of the season on Friday night as the Cajuns blanked Appalachian State 7-0 in the series opener as it’s Ron Guidry Weekend at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
The Cajuns wore commemorative jerseys in honor of Guidry, and 15 of the jerseys were auctioned off after the game. The program will auction off 15 more jerseys tomorrow night with all proceeds to go to the Ragin’ Cajuns baseball program.
The win improves the Cajuns to 30-16 overall and 15-7 in Sun Belt play. Louisiana is now 18-4 at home in 2016.
“We pitched, we played defense and we got good timely hitting. That’s what we have been trying to do all year,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We just have to play our best baseball right now. We don’t have many games left.”
Gunner Leger, Evan Guillory and Will Bacon combined to strikeout a season-high 14 batters in the contest. Leger (6-3) notched his sixth victory of the year in the contest scattering four hits in five innings with six strikeouts. Guillory equaled a career-high with seven strikeouts in three innings of work.
Appalachian State starter Bobby Hampton (1-7) was chased in the fourth inning after giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits in 3.1 innings.
Offensively, the Cajuns outhit the Mountaineers (14-32, 8-17 Sun Belt) 11-6 led by three-hit efforts by Kyle Clement and Nick Thurman. Clement extended his hit streak to 11 games on a two-out double in the first inning.
Junior Alex Pinero matched a career-high with three RBI on the night going 2-for-4 at the plate with a double.
After two scoreless innings, the Ragin’ Cajuns broke the game open in the bottom of the third scoring five runs on four hits and an App State error. Thurman got the scoring started with a leadoff solo home run down the right field line. Clement made the score 2-0 on an RBI single to left field. With the bases loaded and two outs, Pinero drove a double down the left field line to clear the bases and give Louisiana a five-run edge.
Pinero added a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single to left scoring Clement to increase the Cajuns advantage to 6-0.
Brad Antchak scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth as he came home on a throwing error by Mountaineers reliever Dallas DeVrieze.
Louisiana and App State return to action tomorrow at 6 p.m. at The Tigue. Sophomore right-hander Wyatt Marks (3-5, 5.14 ERA) will take the mound for the Cajuns, while freshman right-hander Breydan Gorham (2-4, 4.68 ERA) will make the start for the Mountaineers.