May 11, 2013 11:45 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - Anthony Izzio threw seven innings of scoreless relief and South Alabama erased a six-run deficit in claiming a 9-6 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team in the series opener here Saturday evening at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Louisiana (34-16, 15-10 Belt) sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning in building a 6-0 lead off of USA starter Jarron Cito.
Izzio began his stellar relief effort by recording the final out of the second inning to end the Cajuns uprising and tossing shutout baseball until there were two outs in the ninth inning.
The Jaguars (38-13, 18-7 Sun Belt) completed the rally in the eighth inning when a two-run home run from Dustin Dalken off of Cajuns reliever Ryan Wilson gave USA a 7-6 lead.
Louisiana lost a series opener at "The Tigue" for the first time in 2013 and lost for the first time when posting an inning of five-plus runs in a game.
The two teams wrap up their series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Sunday. Cody Boutte is slated to start the first game of the twinbill for UL with the second starter to be determined. Matt Bell and Jacob Noble are scheduled to start for the Jaguars.
The Cajuns fell three games behind the Jaguars in the Sun Belt standings and had a five-game win streak in conference play snapped.
Seth Harrison led the Cajuns at the plate with a three-hit performance (3-for-4) marking his 17th multiple-hit game of the season. Caleb Adams finished with a team-high two RBI, both coming on his two-out single that capped off the scoring in the second inning.
Dalken and Nolan Earley led the Jaguars with three RBI apiece. Earley launched a three-run home run in the sixth inning that closed the USA deficit to 6-5.
Austin Robichaux got off to a strong start facing the minimum in three of the first four innings and not tossing his 50th pitch until the sixth inning.
Aggressive base running by the Cajuns triggered the six-run second inning. Trahan led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a Dylan Butler single for the game's first run.
Butler tagged up on a deep fly to left field, moved to third base on a Jace Conrad grounder and scored on an infield single by Dex Kjerstad. After stealing second, Kjerstad gave UL a 3-0 lead when a fielding error by USA shortstop Graham Odom extended the inning.
Leonards, who reached on Odom's error, registered the Cajuns third steal of the inning and score when Harrison dumped a single into left field. Tyler Girouard walked for the second straight inning, advancing Harrison to second base, and both scored to up the lead to 6-0 when Adams dropped a single into the right center field gap.
Izzio induced a ground out from Trahan to end the inning. The Cajuns would get just four hits over the final 7 1/3 innings as Izzio took control.
The Jaguars' first run off of Robichaux came in the fifth inning after Earley led off with a double and Dalken singled to bring him home. UL's third double play of the game came on a Whitt Dorsey lineout and shortened the inning for Robichaux.
Robichaux retired the first two Jaguars in the sixth inning. An infield single up the third base line followed by a two-out walk to Jordan Patterson allowed USA to take advantage. In the next two at bats, Nick Zaharion delivered an RBI single and Earley launched his three-run home run to bring a once comfortable six-run lead down to a 6-5 Cajuns advantage.
Both Wilson and Izzio worked around leadoff singles in the seventh inning. In the eighth inning, a leadoff single cost Wilson the lead as two batters later Dalken homered down the left field line.
The Jaguars were afforded insurance runs as Jeff DeBlieux provided a two-out, two-run single off of Matt Hicks to increase the lead to 9-6.
Izzio retired the next five Cajuns he faced and Dylan Stamey collected the final out in the ninth inning by getting a called third strike on Harrison.
BASES NOTED: The Cajuns and Jaguars were forced to open the series on Saturday after expected inclement weather postponed Friday's scheduled game...Louisiana did not hit a home run, ending a string of consecutive games with at least home run at 12...UL is now forced to sweep a doubleheader on Sunday if they are to extend their string of consecutive series victories to six...For only the second time in nine Sun Belt starts Austin Robichaux did not pitch seven complete innings...It was his shortest start in SBC action and shortest since a five-inning outing at Southern Miss on March 10...The six runs scored in the second inning marked the 16th time this season the Cajuns scored at least five runs in a single inning...UL lost for only the sixth time in 36 games in which the squad scored at least five runs...The Cajuns increased their Sun Belt-leading double play total to 52...The four stolen bases tied a season-high and marked the most since reaching that total March 15 vs. ULM...Caleb Adams' two-run double in the second inning upped his season total to 38 and returned the team lead in RBI back to him...Earlier in the inning Dylan Butler tied him at 36 with the RBI single that scored Blake Trahan for the game's first run...Seth Harrison moved within one run of reaching 50 which would make him the first Cajun with 50 runs scored since Jordan Poirrier scored 50 in 2010...Harrison scored at least one run for the 31st time in 45 games...Blake Trahan had his 10-game hitting streak snapped after finishing 0-for-3...Trahan was the fourth Cajun to post a double digit hitting streak this season joining Tyler Girouard (14), Ryan Leonards (14) and Seth Harrison (12)...Blake Trahan fielded all nine chances without error and has now committed only five errors in his past 114 chances...Ryan Leonards single in the seventh inning marked the 23rd time in the past 27 games he's registered a base hit...The attendance of 2,821 was the second-largest crowd of the 2013 season and marked the 19th crowd above 2,000 (29 total dates)...The game opened the 10th Sun Belt series at "The Tigue" between the two schools...It's the first time since 2003 that South Alabama provides the opposition for Louisiana's final home series.