Rubber Game Between Cajuns and Chanticleers Ends In Tie

ragincajuns.com

CONWAY, S.C. – The rubber match of the series between the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team and No. 26 Coastal Carolina ended in a tie on Sunday as both teams plated two runs in the ninth and the game was called due to travel restrictions at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The tie moves the Cajuns to 18-13-1 overall and 7-4-1 in the Sun Belt, while the Chanticleers are now 20-11-1 on the year and 8-3-1 in league play. The result snaps a streak of 15 straight series wins by the Ragin’ Cajuns dating back to the 2016 season.

“We’ve got to do a better job of closing out the last inning,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “The hitters did a good job to fight back today. I thought (Hogan) Harris did a good job of making the game relevant. Our defense was good again today and we scored when it mattered. The difficult part of this is that we were four outs away from getting the sweep, but you have to be able to close the games out.”

Starter Hogan Harris allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings of work. Reliever Wyatt Marks tossed 2.1 innings in relief giving up two runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

CCU starter Zack Hopeck was chased in the fifth inning after surrendering three runs on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings.

The Chants outhit the Cajuns 10-8 in the game with centerfielder Billy Cooke and shortstop Jordan Gore each posting three hits. Centerfielder Ishmael Edwards and shortstop Brad Antchak each had two hits for Louisiana.

After two scoreless innings, the Chanticleers got on the board with a two run-homer to left field by Cooke to take a 2-0 edge. Later in the inning, first baseman Kevin Woodall Jr. drove the first pitch he saw from Harris over the fence in left center for a three-run homer to extend the lead to 5-0.

The Ragin’ Cajuns got on the board in the top half of the fourth as Edwards scored on an RBI groundout to first base by Joe Robbins to make the score 5-1.

Louisiana cut into the Coastal Carolina advantage again in the top of the fifth plating two runs on bases loaded singles by Antchak and Edwards to pull within two runs at 5-3.

The Cajuns completed the comeback in the top of the eighth plating two runs on a pair of two-out walks with the bases loaded by Todd Lott and Alex Pinero to knot the game at 5-all.

In the top of the ninth, Antchak doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning and then scored on a single through the left side of the infield by second baseman Brenn Conrad to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 6-5 edge. Later in the inning, Edwards came home to score on a wild pitch by CCU reliever Austin Kitchen to extend the Cajuns advantage to 7-5.

The lead wouldn’t stand up though as the Chants answered with two runs in the bottom half of the ninth as a pair of runs came home to score on a single to centerfield by Peyton Isaacson to tie the game at 7-all. In the next at bat, Dalton Ewing lined into a double play to Robbins at third base to end the contest in a tie.

Louisiana returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. as the squad heads to Metairie, La. to face No. 13 LSU in the annual Wally Pontiff Classic. Following the matchup with LSU, the Cajuns return home for a three-game Sun Belt series with Arkansas State starting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Russo Park.

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