A back-and-forth affair went the way of Louisiana on Sunday, which used big bats in critical moments down the stretch to take the final game of the series over Troy, 4-3, at Riddle-Pace Field.
Of the team’s nine hits, three went for extra bases, including two monster home runs. Louisiana (13-16, 4-5) is now 3-2 on the year when the offense produces multiple homers.
Senior Handsome Monica blasted a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, as part of a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, while Todd Lott knocked two hits of his own with an RBI. Sophomore Hayden Cantrelle was one of four other Ragin’ Cajuns to post one hit and added the team’s other RBI.
On the hill, Jack Burk pitched 5.0 innings of five-hit, no-run baseball and struck out four Trojans in his second start of the year. Freshman Connor Cooke (3-0) earned the win, allowing an earned run on one hit in 1.0 inning of work. Gunner Leger came in during the ninth and closed out the game for the save.
After giving up an unearned run in the fifth, the Ragin’ Cajuns took its first lead of the afternoon off the bat of Monica, who smashed a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to put Louisiana ahead, 2-1, in the sixth.
After Troy (13-14, 3-6) tied the game up with a double in the seventh, the two teams traded home runs in the eighth off the bats of Lott and Cole Prestegard to send the game to the ninth tied up at three runs apiece.
Cantrelle played hero in the game, firing a double to right-center field to score Brennan Breaux and push Louisiana back in front, 4-3. That score held as Leger and the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense fended off the Trojans for the victory.
Louisiana returns to Russo Park on Tuesday night when it faces in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.