LAFAYETTE – Trey LaFleur recorded his first collegiate three-hit game, capping it with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team to a walk-off 6-5 win over UT Arlington to complete a three-game sweep of a Sun Belt Conference series on Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
David Christie (1-0) earned his first victory on the mound for Louisiana (28-17, 17-7 SBC) since April 3, 2021, after pitching a hitless 11th inning with a strikeout. Jeff Wilson recorded his fifth quality start of the season for Louisiana, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing two earned runs with a strikeout.
Louisiana recorded its fourth walk-off win of the season and second in the three-game series against UTA (14-34, 6-18 SBC) as Heath Hood reached on a two-out, infield single before stealing second to get into scoring position. LaFleur, who finished 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in the sixth, then laced the next pitch from UTA reliever David Moffat (2-8) into right field and allowing Hood to score to give the Ragin’ Cajuns their third straight one-run victory.
Louisiana, which earned its first SBC sweep at home since May 10-12, 2019, against Georgia State, trailed 3-0 after the first inning as UTA got an RBI double from Steven Saunders, an RBI single by Matt Cavanagh and sacrifice fly by Matt Lumsden.
Wilson, who threw 35 pitches of his 91 pitches in the first inning, would settle down as he would allow three base runners the rest of the way.
The Ragin’ Cajuns would cut into the Mavs’ lead in the second when Hood reached on a ground-rule double to right-center field before scoring two batters later when Julian Brock belted a ground-rule double into the near identical spot.
Carson Roccaforte led off the fourth inning for Louisiana with a solo home run off UTA starter Cade Winquest – his 13th home run of the season – before Connor Kimple would reach on a single and score on Brock’s two-out single through the right side.
Hood, who went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, would hit a two-out double to center before LaFleur hit a 414-foot shot to right-center field to give Louisiana its first lead of the game, 5-3.
The Mavs, playing their final season in the Sun Belt before moving to the Western Athletic Conference this summer, scored an unearned run in the eighth when Cavanagh scored on a throwing error before Saunders reached on a fielder’s choice in the ninth to drive in Jaden Brown.
Brock went 3-for-4 at the plate for Louisiana, which recorded 11 hits in the game and improved to 20-0 during the 2022 season when scoring six or more runs. The Ragin’ Cajuns also improved to 4-0 in extra innings games during the season while earning their first sweep of the Mavs since the 2015 season.
Cavanagh, Boone Montgomery and Oscar Ponce each had two hits to lead UTA at the plate with Saunders driving in a pair of runs. Winquest scattered eight hits and allowed five runs for UTA in 6.0 innings with Moffat pitching the final 4.2 innings with three hits and five strikeouts.
Louisiana will hit the road for the final time during the regular-season when it opens a five-game roadtrip on Tuesday at Rice. The teams will play a two-game series at Reckling Park beginning on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. before concluding on Wednesday at 6:30.
After facing Rice, Louisiana will head west to San Marcos to face SBC leader Texas State in a three-game series beginning on Friday at Bobcat Ballpark.
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