UL Sports

Feb 16, 2013 11:45 PM by UL Sports Information

Dramatics Fuel Cajuns Baseball In Twin Bill Sweep of Central Michigan

A successful Division I debut for Cody Boutte and a Ryan Leonards walk-off single led the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Central Michigan here Saturday at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

Boutte limited the Chippewas to four hits over four innings - three of the hits came in the fourth inning - and kept CMU from a three-run inning in the fourth inning to make the three runs produced in the Cajuns first two at bats stand in a 5-3 game one victory.

In the nightcap, it was a heart-stopping finish in the ninth inning as the two squads combined for seven runs.

Two Cajuns errors led to three CMU runs and a 4-1 advantage. Louisiana battled back in the bottom half of the frame as the first four hitters reached base, then the Cajuns scored three runs with two outs capped off by Leonards' walk-off single that resulted in a 5-4 triumph.

With the sweep, Louisiana (3-0) locked up the series victory over Central Michigan (0-3) and registered the first 3-0 start since the 2010 campaign.

The Cajuns and Chippewas conclude their season-opening series on Sunday at 11 a.m. Louisiana is scheduled to send left-handed pitcher Ryan Wilson to the mound to face CMU lefty Rick Dodridge.

Leonards and Tyler Girouard each had three-hit performances in the doubleheader. Girouard homered in the second inning of the opener for UL's first home run of the season.

Matt Hicks collected a save and a victory after finishing off the final two innings in the opener and being the pitcher of record when the Cajuns mounted the ninth inning rally in game two.

GAME 1

Boutte, a native of nearby New Iberia who pitched LSU-Eunice to a junior college national championship last season, zipped through the CMU lineup the first three innings allowing just one hit and hanging zeros on the scoreboard.

His teammates gave him an early lead. A Jace Conrad double in the bottom of the first led to an RBI ground out from Michael Strentz and a Chase Compton double followed adding a second run.

Girouard led off the Cajuns half of the second inning with a solo home run down the right field line upping the lead to 3-0.

Three consecutive singles by the Chippewas in the fourth inning had Boutte in his first - and only - jam of the day. He induced a sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout to minimize the damage and finished off his pitch-count limited appearance by striking out Randon Henika.

The Ragin' Cajuns would plate insurance runs on a strange play in the sixth inning that resulted in Chase Compton driving home two runs on a sacrifice fly ball to the warning track in left center field for a 5-2 lead.


But the story the rest of the way was the relief pitching of Nick Zaunbrecher and Hicks which led to Boutte being victorious in his UL debut.

Zaunbrecher collected three strikeouts in the fifth inning, another pair in the sixth inning and induced a double play ball in the seventh inning to preserve the three-run lead.

A Hicks strikeout with two runners on and no outs in the eighth inning resulted in Cody Leichman being picked off first base and quickly there were two outs. A Zack Fields RBI double brought CMU within two runs (5-3), but Hicks induced ground outs from four of the next five Chippewas he faced to notch the save.

Zaunbrecher and Hicks combined to limit CMU to one run off six hits over five innings after Boutte reached his pitch limit.

LINE SCORE

Louisiana 5, Central Michigan 3 (Feb 16, 2013 at Lafayette, La.) (Game 1)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Central Michigan.... 000 200 010 - 3 10 1 (0-2)

Louisiana........... 210 002 00X - 5 8 0 (2-0)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitchers: Central Michigan - Kaminska, Pat; San Miguel, Kenton(8) and . Louisiana -

Boutte, Cody; Zaunbrecher, Nick(5); Hicks, Matt(8) and .

Win-Boutte, Cody(1-0) Save-Hicks, Matt(1) Loss-Kaminska, Pat(0-1) T-2:15 A-0

HR UL - Girouard, Tyler.

Weather: 54, Sunny, N @ 18-24 MPH

GAME 2

For all but one inning of the nightcap, the contest belonged to the two pitching staffs and cold temperatures began to settle in.

Austin Robichaux and CMU's Jordan Foley battled for five innings with six hits scattered between the two of them. The lone run was scored by CMU when the visitors strung together four consecutive one-out singles off of Robichaux in the third inning.

Foley, who held Louisiana to three hits over his first six innings of work, fell victim to Cajuns' two-out magic - something that would become a factor in the ninth inning. Girouard singled through the left side, then scored when a shallow fly ball from Wilson landed in front of and then bounced past CMU left fielder Tom Lally resulting in an RBI triple which tied the contest.

Hicks made his second appearance of the day with two outs in the eighth inning, taking the place of Matt Plitt who held CMU scoreless and to two hits over 2 2/3 innings.

The Cajuns defense played error free all day leading up to the ninth inning. Two defensive miscues placed a pair of Chippeaws in scoring position and Logan Regnier delivered a triple down the right field line to give CMU a 3-1 lead. Another run was added on a Jordan Adams RBI single, but Hicks induced a double-play ball on the next at bat to end CMU uprising.

Louisiana's first four hitters in the bottom of the ninth reached base and quickly the CMU lead was dropped to 4-2 after a Dylan Butler RBI single to right center.

CMU came with its second reliever of the evening after Butler's base hit, sending Sean Renzi to the mound. He succeeded in retiring the first two hitters he faced, but an infield single by Blake Trahan loaded the bases and kept the Cajuns comeback hopes alive.

Seth Harrison drew a walk to force home another run and slice the CMU lead to 4-3. On his third offering from Renzi, Leonards promptly delivered a single into left field that scored Butler and Trahan both of whom had broke off second and third base before Leonards made contact.

Leonards (three hits) and Wilson (two hits) had the Cajuns multiple-hit games. Robichaux settled for a no-decision, but looked every bit the form of his freshman season-ending finish by scattering four hits over five innings.

Head coach Tony Robichaux moved within three wins of 900 career victories as a Division I head coach, collecting win No. 897 with the dramatic finish (now 897-616-1 in 27th season).

LINE SCORE

Louisiana 5, Central Michigan 4 (Feb 16, 2013 at Lafayette, La.) (Game 2)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Central Michigan.... 001 000 003 - 4 9 1 (0-3)

Louisiana........... 000 000 104 - 5 9 2 (3-0)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitchers: Central Michigan - Foley, Jordan; Rheault, Dylan(8); Renzi, Sean(9) and . Louisiana -

Robichaux, Austin; Plitt, Matt(6); Hicks, Matt(8) and .

Win-Hicks, Matt(1-0) Loss-Renzi, Sean(0-1) T-2:35 A-1993

Weather: 54, clear skies, NNW @ 16 MPH

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