Apr 2, 2013 11:41 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - Louisiana produced runs in three straight at bats in the seventh inning to pull ahead and grab an 8-5 victory over McNeese State here Tuesday evening at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field, extending the Ragin' Cajuns home field win streak to nine games.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Seth Harrison and Tyler Girouard singled home runs then Nick Thurman followed with a run producing double as the Cajuns (20-8) took a 7-5 lead off of McNeese reliever Tyler Parke.
Matt Hicks, working his final inning in relief of Chase Traffica, retired the Cowboys in order in the eighth inning. Dex Kjerstad closed out the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the bottom half, then Seth Harrison notched three strikeouts in the ninth inning to garner his second save in as many appearances.
Louisiana also picked up its ninth straight win over McNeese (17-10) at "The Tigue" and upped its midweek games record to 5-1.
The Ragin' Cajuns continue their current five-game homestand this weekend hosting Troy (20-7) in a Sun Belt Conference series. Start times are 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Hicks, inserted with the Cajuns trailing 5-3 in the sixth inning, posted his third victory of the season. Harrison, who made his first Division pitching appearance at WKU on Saturday, made his pitching debut at "The Tigue".
Kjerstad and Ryan Leonards each collected two hits and two RBI to pace the Cajuns efforts. Girouard extended his career-best hit streak to 13 games with the game-winning hit in the seventh inning.
Kjerstad gave UL the lead in the team's first at bat, leading off the bottom of the first with a solo home run. McNeese drew even in the second inning with a run on a Hans Ask sacrifice fly.
Traffica and Jason Gibson controlled the action the through the fourth inning. Traffica retired the Cowboys in order in the third and fourth inning, while Gibson didn't surrender a hit until the fifth inning.
The lead swapped hands in the fifth inning. The Cowboys took a 2-1 advantage on an Andrew Guillote single and the Cajuns responded with two runs off of a Ryan Leonards suicide squeeze for a 3-2 lead.
McNeese registered three unearned runs in the top of the sixth, the final two coming on an Ask triple. Hicks relieved Traffica and struck out pinch hitter Taylor Drake to end the Cowboys rally.
Caleb Adams' seventh home run of the season came in the bottom of the sixth and atoned for his dropped fly ball that led the three unearned runs for the Cowboys.
Jace Conrad's leadoff single in the seventh inning triggered the Cajuns three-spot that sealed up the victory. It turned the lineup over with no outs and three batters later Harrison began the hit parade that gave UL the lead for good.
BASES NOTED: In addition to extending his hitting streak to 13 games, Tyler Girouard reached base for the 20th consecutive game...Girouard's hitting streak is the longest by a Cajuns hitter since Mike Petello produced a 14-game streak in 2011...Louisiana has won 12 of the last 14 meetings with McNeese and improved to 24-16 against the Cowboys in the Tony Robichaux era...The Ragin' Cajuns increased their all-time series lead over McNeese 87-62...The McNeese series is the most-played in program history, now 149 games old...The two teams are scheduled to complete their annual midweek home-and-home on Tuesday, April 23 in Lake Charles...Blake Trahan has picked up at least one base hit in 21 of his 27 appearances...Dex Kjerstad picked up his 10th multiple-hit game of the season and seventh in the past nine games...Kjerstad led off a midweek home game with a home run for the second time (March 19 vs. Southern)...Chase Traffica got the midweek start for the third straight week...Louisiana is now 14-1 when holding opponents to five runs or fewer...Matt Hicks' three victories tie him with Cord Cockrell for most by a Cajuns reliever in 2013...Blake Trahan's eight assists are the most recorded by a Cajun this season and upped his team-leading total to 73...The crowd of 2,475 marked the second-highest attended game for Louisiana, behind the LSU sellout crowd, and was the eighth crowd of 2,000-plus.
Louisiana 8, McNeese State 5 (Apr 02, 2013 at Lafayette, La.)
McNeese State....... 010 013 000 - 5 9 0 (17-10)
Louisiana........... 100 021 31X - 8 11 1 (20-8)
Pitchers: McNeese State - Gibson, Jason; Parke, Tyler (6); Quary, Lucas (7). Louisiana -
Traffica, Chase; Hicks, Matt (6); Harrison, Seth (9)
Win-Hicks, Matt (3-0) Save-Harrison, Seth (2) Loss-Parke, Tyler (2-1) T-2:19 A-2475
HR UL - Kjerstad, Dex (2); Adams, Caleb (7)
Weather: 73, mostly cloudy, E @ 8 MPH