LAKE CHARLES, La. – The 21st-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team got another stellar outing on the mound from freshman right-hander Jack Burk as the Cajuns handed McNeese their first loss of the season at home with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at Joe Miller Ballpark.
The win moves the Ragin’ Cajuns to 14-9 on the season, while the Cowboys (18-7) saw their 14-game win streak at home come to an end.
“Jack pitched to the system tonight, and when you can pitch to the system it’s going to reward you,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We came back and played well defensively for him after an error cost us a run. It was good to see our hitters come through with some big hits at the plate tonight. A lot of times all it takes is one big hit to get someone started at the plate. It was good to see Tyler (Stover) and Handsome (Monica) drive the ball out of the park. Our hitters are learning how to fight and how to have some throw down with you.”
Burk (1-3) limited one of the best offenses in the nation to one unearned run on two hits to earn his first collegiate victory. The right-hander walked two and struck out two as he lowered his ERA to 2.08 with the outing.
Junior Evan Guillory was strong out of the bullpen retiring all six batters he faced with three strikeouts, while Dylan Moore notched his sixth save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning including two strikeouts.
Stater Aidan Anderson (2-2) took the loss for the Cowboys after surrendering two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in four innings of work.
The Cajuns outhit McNeese 5-2 led by catcher Handsome Monica who was 2-for-3 with a home run. Junior Steven Sensley increased his on-base streak in the game to 19 games with his double in the second inning.
Louisiana grabbed a 2-0 edge in the top of the second when right fielder Tyler Stover hammered a 2-0 pitch from Anderson over the scoreboard in left field for his first home run of the season. The Ragin’ Cajuns looked to add to its total in the inning loading the bases with one out, but Anderson got two strikeouts to end the threat.
The Cowboys answered with an unearned run in the bottom half of the second as designated hitter Shane Selman singled and then moved to third on a throwing error by shortstop Hunter Kasuls. Selman scored on a ground ball hit to first by shortstop Will Fox to make the score 2-1. With one out and a runner on third, Burk kept the Ragin’ Cajuns in front getting two fly outs to centerfield to get out of the jam.
After four scoreless innings, the Cajuns got an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a leadoff homer to left field by Monica to give Louisiana a 3-1 edge. The home run was the first of the year for Monica.
McNeese had just one runner reach second base in the final seven frames as the Cajuns defense turned two double plays in the contest.
The Ragin’ Cajuns return to action tomorrow as the squad heads to Hammond, La. to complete the suspended game from Feb. 20 against Southeastern Louisiana before squaring off in the regularly scheduled contest. Action gets underway at 5 p.m. with the Lions at Alumni Field. Only tickets for the March 29 contest will be honored as the stadium will not be cleared between games.