Feb 21, 2014 11:42 PM by UL Sports Information
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The 14thranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns baseball team defeated Southern Miss 6-2 in the opening game of a three-game series Friday night at Pete Taylor Park to pick up its fifth straight win.
The Cajuns (5-1) outhit the Golden Eagles (2-3) 11-5 in the game led by catcher Nick Thurman and centerfielder Seth Harrison who each notched two hits. Louisiana had seven hits in the final three innings.
"You have to be good when it matters, and I think this team is good at doing that," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We did a good job of hanging in there against a strong arm tonight. We need to come out aggressive tomorrow and win the series."
Junior Austin Robichaux picked up his first win of the season and 12th of his career holding USM to just two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks in seven innings of work.
"Austin did a great job of matching their guy tonight, which is what you want to do on the road," Robichaux added. "He stayed away from the big inning tonight and kept us in the game long enough to get a big inning ourselves."
Conor Fisk was superb for the Golden Eagles limiting the Cajuns to two runs on four hits in 6.0 innings. Fisk struck out 11 in the outing while giving up just one free pass.
"Fisk was really dealing tonight," Robichaux stated. "The thing that helped us was that we made him throw a lot of pitches in the first two innings. That caused him to leave the game earlier than he would have liked. Even though we weren't getting many hits in the middle innings, we were still running his pitch count up and that lead to us breaking through."
Jace Conrad drove in the Cajuns first run of the game for the fifth consecutive time doubling down the right field line to score Seth Harrison from first. Later in the inning, Conrad would come in to score on a ball hit to second by Tyler Girouard to make the score 2-0 Louisiana.
Southern Miss cut the advantage to 2-1 in the bottom of the third on a RBI single to left by Michael Sterling scoring Nick Dawson from second with two outs.
After two scoreless frames, the Golden Eagles evened the contest at 2-all on a RBI double to right center by Dylan Burdeaux.
Louisiana answered in the top of the seventh as Conrad brought in Thurman on a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Cajuns a 3-2 edge. Thurman led off the inning with a double down the left field line and then moved to third on a bunt single by Blake Trahan.
In the top of the eighth, Evan Powell gave the Ragin' Cajuns an insurance run driving in pinch runner Joe Robbins from third on a single through the left side of the infield to make the score 4-2 Louisiana.
Thurman added two more runs in the inning on his second double of the game sending a pitch down the left field line to score Powell and Chase Compton.
Senior Matt Hicks came on to throw two scoreless innings to close out the game surrendering just one hit with a strikeout. Hicks hasn't allowed a run in seven innings so far this season.
The Cajuns and Golden Eagles will play a day-night doubleheader tomorrow due to impending weather. The first game will take place at 1 p.m., as originally scheduled while the nightcap is slated to start at 7:30 p.m., to accommodate a home basketball game for Southern Miss.
Season tickets are still available for baseball and can be purchased on RaginCajuns.com or at the Cajundome box office. For more information call (337) 265-2357.