LAFAYETTE, La. – The 21st-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team used a four-run fourth inning to surge past South Alabama with a 10-2 victory on Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park to claim the squad’s sixth series of the year.
The series victory is the 15th straight overall for the Cajuns (16-12, 6-3 Sun Belt) dating back to the 2016 and includes 11 straight conference series wins.
“I thought our hitters did a good job today,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Again we played good defense, and that was big for us. I thought Joe Robbins‘ home run got us going offensively. Joe is a guy that can really make us go. He can get the ball out of the ballpark and get the team going offensively. He got us going Friday night, and then again today he did it again. We were able to score in multiple innings today, and I thought that big fourth inning really broke their backs.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns outhit the Jaguars (16-12, 6-3 Sun Belt) 12-8 in the contest led by centerfielder Ishmael Edwards who went 3-for-5 with a home run, a career-high four RBI and scored three runs. Third baseman Joe Robbins also reached base three times in the game going 2-for-4 with a walk, home run, two RBI and scored once.
Sophomore left-hander Hogan Harris (3-0) notched his third victory in his last four starts allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings of work.
“I thought Hogan did a good job of coming back to settle in and pitch again after the first solo home run,” Robichaux said. “He gave up another solo home run, but he came back and answered. That’s a good sign from a young sophomore.”
Starter Tyler Carr was handed his first loss of the season for the Jags after giving up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits as he was chased after 3.1 innings.
Shortstop Drew LaBounty led off the game with a solo home run to centerfield to give South Alabama an early 1-0 edge.
The Cajuns responded in the bottom half of the first as designated hitter Steven Sensley brought home Edwards on a sac fly to left field to even the game at 1-all. Edwards led off the inning with a single to right field and then moved to third on a Brenn Conrad sac bunt and a Joe Robbins single.
The Jags regained the lead in the top of the second on another leadoff home run to right centerfield, this time by right fielder Eddie Paparella to go in front 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, Edwards pulled the Ragin’ Cajuns level on an RBI single to centerfield plating shortstop Hunter Kasuls. Later in the inning, Robbins drove a 1-0 pitch from Carr over the fence in right center for a two-out, two-run homer to put Louisiana ahead 4-2. The home run was the fourth of the season for Robbins.
The Cajuns broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth adding four runs on three hits and a Jaguars error to take an 8-2 advantage. Catcher Handsome Monica brought home the first run of the inning doubling down the left field line to score Tyler Stover from second base. With two on and one out, Edwards cleared the bases with a three-run inside-the-park home run down the right field line to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a six-run lead.
Louisiana picked up a pair of runs on a two-out RBI single by Alex Pinero in the fifth and a two RBI single by Sensley in the sixth to make the final 10-2.
The Ragin’ Cajuns close out their four-game homestand on Tuesday at 6 p.m. as they host Nicholls in a non-conference game at Russo Park. Following the matchup with the Colonels, Louisiana heads to Coastal Carolina for a three-game Sun Belt series starting on Friday at 5 p.m. CT.