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Mar 26, 2013 11:04 PM by UL Sports Information

Cajuns Turn Tide With Rally vs. SLU, Hicks Ties UL Career Save Record

The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team erased a 3-0 deficit and turned the tables on Southeastern Louisiana with seven runs over the middle innings and as a result ended a nine-game losing streak to the Lions with a 9-5 victory here Tuesday evening at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Louisiana (18-6) used a three-spot in the fourth inning to create a tie, broke the tie with Tyler Girouard's RBI infield single in the fifth inning, then plated three runs off of the Lions bullpen in the sixth inning to gain breathing room.

A pair of doubles in the bottom of the sixth aided SLU (18-8) in generating two runs that trimmed the Cajuns lead to 7-5. Matt Hicks closed out the sixth and retired the Lions in order in the seventh inning.

A Caleb Adams two-run single in the eighth inning provided insurance for Hicks who earned his eighth save of the 2013 season.

Chase Traffica held the Lions to single runs in the early innings, keeping the Cajuns within striking distance for the middle innings rally. Traffica surrendered just five hits and the Lions produced three of the five runs he was charged with without benefit of a base hit.

Hicks, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for the save, moved within one of the single season saves record (9, Justin Robichaux) and tied the school career record (Kraig Schambough, Justin Robichaux) with his 12th career save.

Louisiana returns to Sun Belt Conference play traveling to Bowling Green, Ky., for an Easter weekend series with WKU at Nick Denes Field. Game times are 6 p.m. (Friday), 3 p.m. (Saturday), and 1 p.m. (Sunday).

Adams recorded a game-high three RBI and Girouard extended his season-best hitting streak to nine games. Dex Kjerstad posted a multiple-hit game for the fifth straight outing finishing 2-for-5.

Traffica picked up the victory and Kaleb Manuel was charged with the loss for SLU after giving up four runs (three earned) in five innings.

The Ragin' Cajuns ended a three-game losing streak that began last weekend at Middle Tennessee and picked up their first win over SLU since a 3-1 win at "The Tigue" on March 5, 2008.

The Lions manufactured a run without benefit of a hit in their first at bat. Ladd Rhodes drew a leadoff walk, moved to third base on back-to-back groundouts and stole home.

SLU picked up another run in the second inning after Sam Roberson singled through the left side, stole second base then on a steal of third base scored when Nick Thurman's throw was out of Girouard's reach.

A diving catch by Adams down the left field line and a Traffica strikeout with a runner on base helped the Cajuns close out the Lions half of the second inning.

The Lions lead grew to 3-0 after a single by Rhodes, stolen base, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly from Harry Slade in the third inning.

Louisiana responded, evening the score in the top of the fourth inning. An infield single by Michael Strentz and walk by Chase Compton set the stage for the UL rally. A Seth Harrison double, Jace Conrad groundout followed by a wild pitch that scored Harrison, knotted the score at 3-all.

Traffica retired the Lions in order for the first time, and then the Cajuns took their first lead of the night in the top of the fifth on Girouard's infield single. Traffica kept the momentum on the Cajuns side by retiring the Lions in order a second straight inning as Louisiana maintained a 4-3 lead after five complete.

The Lions began the sixth with a pitching change, but lefthander Matt Pittari did not retire any of the three Cajuns he faced and left with the bases loaded and no outs.

A four-pitch walk after a pitching change brought home the Cajuns first run of the frame and prompted another SLU pitching change. The Lions' third reliever, Brennan Catalano, yielded an RBI single to Thurman and the Cajuns added a third run on an Adams fielder's choice grounder, upping the Cajuns lead to 7-3.

BASES NOTED: Louisiana upped its all-time series lead over SLU to 58-46...The Cajuns improved to 4-1 in midweek games...Tyler Girouard is hitting .529 (18-of-34) during his nine-game hitting streak...Dex Kjerstad is hitting 12-of-25 (.480) during his streak of five consecutive games with multiple hits...Caleb Adams picked up his third game with three RBI, upping his team-leading season total to 21 RBI...Louisiana drew eight walks off of Lions pitching, tying the most SLU has given up this season and was within one of tying the most the Cajuns have drawn (9 vs. CMU on Feb. 15)...Entering the contest, SLU was 10-1 at Pat Kenelly Diamond...The Cajuns have produced 75 runs over the middle innings and have outscored the opposition 75-55...Louisiana scored six-plus runs for the 10th time in 24 games; in 2012, the Cajuns scored six-plus 15 times in 53 games...Matt Hicks appeared for the first time since the ULM series...Hicks is now 8-for-8 in save situations...Prior to Tuesday, the Cajuns last victory in Hammond came on Feb. 21, 2007 (W, 5-1).

LINE SCORE

Louisiana 9, Southeastern La. 6 (Mar 26, 2013 at Hammond, La.)

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Louisiana........... 000 313 020 - 9 10 1 (18-6)

Southeastern La..... 111 002 010 - 6 8 1 (18-8)

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Pitchers: Louisiana - Traffica, Chase; Hicks, Matt (6). Southeastern La. - Manuel, Kaleb; Pittari, Matt (6); Riddell, Logan (6); Catalano, Brennan (6); Klotz, Mason (8); Gremillion, John (8)

Win-Traffica, Chase (3-1) Save-Hicks, Matt (8) Loss-Manuel, Kaleb (2-2) T-2:44 A-1212

Weather: 57, sunny, NW @ 10 MPH

Pittari, M faced 3 batters in the 6th

Riddell, L faced 1 batter in the 6th

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