Mar 30, 2014 1:28 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The top-ranked Ragin' Cajuns baseball team saw its 14-game win streak come to an end as they squad split a doubleheader with Western Kentucky on Saturday at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field falling in the first game 14-3 before winning the nightcap 10-9.
Louisiana moves to 25-3 on the season and 7-1 in conference and remains atop the Sun Belt standings. WKU is now 14-13 overall and 4-4 in league play.
"Anytime you come up against a hot team like they are with the bat, you've got to be able to come out and answer back," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We were able to do that. When you get punched in the face like we did in game one, you have one of two choices. Either get ready to get punched again or punch back. I'm glad that we punched back."
On the day, Blake Trahan and Jace Conrad each had four hits for the Ragin' Cajuns. Conrad had two doubles and a triple in the second game of the doubleheader and extended his hit streak to 12 games and his on-base streak to 18 games.
Caleb Adams also extended his streak of reaching base to a team-best 22 games with a triple in the opening game and a double in the win.
WKU's Regan Flaherty was the offensive leader of the day going 6-for-11 with two doubles, a home run, drove in six and scored three times.
Junior Austin Robichaux was tabbed with his second loss of the year giving up seven runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings in the first game, while Justin Hageman was the winner for the Hilltoppers holding Louisiana to three runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work.
Carson Baranik increased his record to 6-0 in the second game after being spotted nine runs through the first five innins. Baranik went 5.2 innings and gave up six runs on 10 hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Clay Austin was saddled with the loss in the nightcap surrendering nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits with three strikeouts.
In the opener, The Cajuns jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a solo blast to right by centerfielder Seth Harrison and a RBI single by Dylan Butler.
The Hilltoppers answered back with two runs in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Flaherty to even the game at 2-all.
WKU plated five more runs in the top of fourth to jump out to a 7-2 advantage. The Hilltoppers had five singles in the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Adams cut the lead to 7-3 driving a RBI triple off of the walk to center.
Western Kentucky put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth scoring six runs on six hits with three walks. A pair of 2-run doubles highlighted the scoring in the inning.
The Hilltoppers plated the final run of the game in the ninth on a RBI single by Ryan Church.
In the nightcap, WKU continued the offensive theme jumping out to a 3-0 edge in the top of the first. Church plated the first run on a RBI single up the middle. Later in the inning, Anderson Miller drove in a run another RBI single. Trevor Lowe brought in the final run of the inning on a ball hit to short.
The Cajuns answered with a three-running inning of their own in the bottom half of the first. Trahan, Ryan Leonards and Harrison each doubled to lead off the inning with Leonards and Harrison both driving in a run. Ryan Wilson evened the game as he drove in Harrison on a ball hit to second.
After the Hilltoppers regained the lead 4-3 in the top of the second, Louisiana exploded for four runs on five hits to go in front 7-4. Conrad tripled to lead off the inning and then came in to score on a sac fly by Greg Davis to tie the game at 4-all. With two runners on, Leonards sent a double to the gap in right center to score a pair and give the Ragin' Cajuns the lead. Harrison drove in his second run of the game later in the inning scoring Trahan on a sac fly. Adams capped the scoring with a RBI double to right field.
In the fourth, Butler led off the inning with a solo home run to extend the lead to 8-4.
The Cajuns and Hilltoppers exchanged runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make the score 10-6. Harrison drove in what turned out to be the winning run in the sixth singling in Leonards from second.
WKU rallied scoring a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to cut the lead to one run. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Reagan Bazar got Flaherty to fly out to right field to end the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Cajuns go for their eight straight series win tomorrow at noon as they host the Hilltoppers in the series finale at the Tigue. Senior Cody Boutte will take the mound for the Louisiana.
Following the final game of the WKU series, the Ragin' Cajuns close out their nine-game homestand against Tulane with a 6 p.m. contest at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
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