Apr 21, 2013 11:29 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - A two-run home run in the ninth inning lifted Florida Atlantic into its first lead of the series and a victory over the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team by a 5-4 count here Saturday evening at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
The Cajuns (26-13, 9-8 Sun Belt) had broken a 3-all tie in the eighth inning when Ryan Leonards delivered a run-scoring single. In the ninth inning, Louisiana was two outs from taking a 2-0 series lead.
A one-out single by Brendon Sanger brought the go-ahead run to the plate for FAU (26-13, 11-6 Sun Belt). Ricky Santiago then delivered a two-run home run over the right field wall to give the Owls a 5-4 edge - the first time in 18 innings of the series FAU held a lead.
Hugh Adams pitched a scoreless ninth inning to collect the save as the Owls evened the weekend series.
The rubber game takes place Sunday at 12 p.m. with Louisiana's Cody Boutte (5-2, 5.44 ERA) matching up against FAU's Brandon Rhodes (3-1, 2.79 ERA) in battle of lefthanders on the mound.
The Cajuns received another quality start from their starting pitcher as Ryan Wilson tossed seven innings and held the Owls to two earned runs.
Dex Kjerstad and Ryan Leonards each posted three hits. Kjerstad collected a multiple-hit game for the 15th time in the past 20 outings and Leonards picked up his sixth three-hit game.
UL picked up a lead in the first inning a second straight night. Kjerstad laced a ground-rule double to right center and later scored on Leonards' first hit of the game. Jace Conrad, who reached on a bunt single after Kjerstad's double, crossed home plate on a Tyler Girouard grounder.
FAU picked up a run in the third inning on a fielder's choice. A relay throw from Leonards to Blake Trahan to Michael Strentz on a Levi Meyer double prevented the Owls from forging a tie.
Louisiana reclaimed its two-run advantage in the fourth when Seth Harrison homered for the second time in the series.
FAU starter Jeremy Strawn held the Cajuns in check as he retired nine of the 10 batters he faced from the fifth through seventh inning.
The Owls drew the 3-3 tie on a unearned run in the sixth inning and a Corey Keller solo home run in the seventh inning.
Ben Carter induced a 5-4-3 double play, the Cajuns third of the game and sixth double play of the series, to end the FAU at bat in the eighth inning then Leonards returned the lead to UL with his two-out single in the bottom half of the inning.
Leonards had advanced to second on the throw and remained there as FAU reliever Bo Logan retired Dylan Butler to keep his team's deficit at one run.
That paid dividends as Santiago's home run afforded the Owls a one-run lead on his home run in the ninth inning off of Matt Hicks who was attempting to move into sole possession of the school's single season record for saves.
With the win FAU regained the lead in the all-time series at 10-9 and snapped a four-game losing streak at "The Tigue".
Logan, who held the FAU deficit at one run by recording one out in the eight inning, picked up the win in relief. Adams notched his Sun Belt-leading 12th save.
Hicks failed to record a save for only the second time in 11 opportunities and was charged with his first loss of the season.
BASES NOTED: Dex Kjerstad picked up his team-leading 18th multiple-hit game...Ryan Wilson recorded his longest outing since tossing a complete game vs. ULM on March 15...The Cajuns have recorded 17 double plays in the month of April...Ryan Wilson threw a season-high 122 pitches...Jace Conrad recorded season-highs with six putouts and six assists...He had a string of 107 straight error-free chances snapped in the sixth inning...Michael Strentz was ejected from the contest in the seventh inning after an exchange of words with home plate umpire Larry Short following a strikeout looking...The announced attendance of 2,628 marked a season-high for a weekend series and was the 14th crowd of 2,000 plus in 23 playing dates...Louisiana needs a win on Sunday to avoid losing a weekend series at "The Tigue" for the first time this season...Sunday's contest will mark the final regular season Sun Belt game between the Cajuns and Owls as FAU leaves for Conference USA following the 2013 season.
Florida Atlantic 5, Louisiana 4 (Apr 20, 2013 at Lafayette, La.)
Florida Atlantic.... 001 001 102 - 5 12 0 (26-13, 11-6 SUN BELT)
Louisiana........... 200 100 010 - 4 9 1 (26-13, 9-8 SUN BELT)
Pitchers: FloridaAtlantic - Strawn, Jeremy; Logan, Bo (8); Adams, Hugh (9). Louisiana - Wilson, Ryan; Carter, Ben (8); Hicks, Matt (9)
Win-Logan, Bo (4-0) Save-Adams, Hugh (12) Loss-Hicks, Matt (3-1) T-2:33 A-2628
HR FAU - Santiago, Ricky (2); Keller, Corey (1)
HR UL - Harrison, Seth (5)
Weather: 70, sunny, ENE @ 7 MPH