May 18, 2013 8:22 AM by UL Sports Information
MONROE - Chase Compton snapped a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning with a grand slam and the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team went on to secure the series win over ULM with a 13-4 victory here Friday evening at Warhawk Field.
The Ragin' Cajuns (37-17, 18-11 Sun Belt) kept pace with Florida Atlantic and remained at the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Sun Belt Conference Tournament scheduled for May 22-26 at "The Tigue" in Lafayette. The victory also kept alive chances that Louisiana could climb as high as the No. 2 seed.
Louisiana closes out the series with ULM (18-35, 7-22 Sun Belt) and the 2013 regular season at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Cajuns will attempt to sweep their in-state rival for the second time this season.
Three consecutive two-out walks issued by ULM starting pitcher Cale Wine preceded Compton's eighth inning at bat. Wine was lifted for reliever Carey Taylor after starting out Compton with a 2-1 count.
Compton fouled off Taylor's first offering to even the count, then Taylor missed high on the next pitch bringing the count to 3-2. Compton fouled off the next pitch before connecting on the subsequent offering and driving the ball over the fence in right center field to clear the bases for an 8-4 advantage.
Louisiana loaded the bases in the ninth inning with three consecutive singles to lead off against ULM reliever Chad Miller and went on to tack on five more runs to put the game out of reach.
Compton's grand slam and the five-spot in the ninth inning put the finishing touches on a Cajuns rally for the second straight night.
The Warhawks had built a 4-1 advantage with two unearned runs scored without benefit of a hit in the third inning and a Judd Edwards two-run home run in the fourth inning.
The Cajuns, held scoreless by Wine over the first three innings, began chipping away at the Warhawks lead in the middle innings starting with a Dylan Butler sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth.
On first pitch of the top of the fifth, Jace Conrad homered to left field to trim the Cajuns deficit to 4-2. Caleb Adams and Blake Trahan led off the sixth inning with back-to-back singles and later crossed home plate via a Michael Strentz RBI single and Conrad RBI grounder, respectively, to forge a 4-4 tie.
Cord Cockrell, Ben Frith and Kendall Mayer combined for four innings of scoreless relief while the Cajuns finished off the rally. Cockrell, the first to pitch after the Cajuns drew even, retired all five batters that he faced before giving way to Frith who secured the final out of the seventh inning. Mayer tossed the final 1 2/3 innings holding ULM hitless while collecting three strikeouts.
Dex Kjerstad posted his 26th multiple-hit game of the season capping off the performance with a two-run home run that closed out the scoring in the ninth inning. Kjerstad finished 3-for-5, landing him his 14th game with at least three hits.
Strentz added an RBI double in the ninth inning for his 20th double of the season making him the first Cajun since Jonathan Lucroy in 2006 to reach 20 doubles. Strentz finished 3-for-4 for his 14th multiple-hit game of the season.
Adams, Tyler Girouard, Seth Harrison and Trahan each turned in two hits as Louisiana piled up 17 in posting its 32nd game of double digit hits in 2013.
Cody Boutte, who did not factor in the decision, limited the Warhawks to five hits over five innings while surrendering just two earned runs.
BASES NOTED: Louisiana improved to 5-0 against ULM in 2013...Bunt singles by Seth Harrison (fourth inning) and Caleb Adams and Blake Trahan (ninth inning) increased the Cajuns season total to 33...Seth Harrison leads the team with nine bunt singles...Louisiana's 17 hits pushed the season total to 602 marking the first season with 600-plus hits since 2007...Dex Kjerstad moved past 80 hits (82 actual) to become the first Cajun with 80-plus hits since Jonathan Lucroy registered 95 in 2006...Of his 26 multi-hit games, Kjerstad has posted 17 in Sun Belt Conference play...The Cajuns' five-spot in the ninth inning vaulted the team past 400 runs (402 actual) giving the program the first season of 400-plus runs since 2007...Dex Kjerstad and Tyler Girouard have each collected seven hits off of ULM pitching this season...Blake Trahan has the most hits in the ULM season series with eight...Louisiana has outscored ULM 35-14 in the five games contested and out-hit the Warhawks 57-35...The Cajuns increased their all-time series lead over the Warhawks to 71-52...Louisiana holds a 17-12 advantage in the Sun Belt Conference era (2007-present)...The Cajuns improved to 29-3 when tallying double digit hits...Louisiana is undefeated (14-0) when scoring 10-plus runs and collected their 18th victory of six-plus runs.
Louisiana 13, ULM 4 (May 17, 2013 at Monroe, La.)
Louisiana........... 000 112 045 - 13 17 3 (37-17, 18-11 SUN BELT)
ULM................. 002 200 000 - 4 6 4 (18-35, 7-22 SUN BELT)
Pitchers: Louisiana - Boutte, Cody; Cockrell, Cord (6); Frith, Ben (7); Mayer, Kendall (8). ULM - Wine, Cale; Taylor, Carey (8); Miller, Chad (9); Simoneaux, Chet (9)
Win-Frith, Ben (2-0) Loss-Wine, Cale (6-8) T-3:06 A-1311
HR UL - Kjerstad, Dex (10); Compton, Chase (4); Conrad, Jace (3)
HR ULM - Edwards, Judd (3)
Weather: 85, cloudy, SW @ 1 MPH