LAFAYETTE – Conor Higgs’ two-run triple fueled a seven-run, third inning and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns built a 9-0 lead before earning a 10-5 win over Southern University on Tuesday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Carson Roccaforte had his first three-hit game of the season going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI while John Taylor drove in three runs as Louisiana (27-15) snapped a three-game losing streak. Kyle DeBarge added a pair of hits for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who recorded nine hits in the game and faced Southern (13-22) for the first time since the 2015 season.
Cooper Rawls (9-0), one of five scheduled pitchers used by Louisiana, fanned two and allowed a pair of hits in 2.0 innings as he moved into a tie for the national lead in victories with McNeese’s Grant Rogers.
Dylan Theut, seeing his first action since March 11, pitched a pair of hitless innings in relief for Louisiana with Carson Fluno, Blake Marshall and David Christie pitching the final 5.0 innings with five strikeouts.
Higgs, who went 2-for-2 and scored twice, led off the second inning with a single off Southern starter Anthony Fidanza (3-1) and moved to second on a fielding error. After Julian Brock drew a walk, both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Roccaforte hit an RBI single to right for a 1-0 lead before a sacrifice fly by Taylor drove in Brock.
The Ragin’ Cajuns sent 12 men to the plate in the third beginning when DeBarge beat out an infield single, moved to second on an error and Heath Hood drew a walk. Higgs would drive in both runners with his second triple of the season for a 4-0 lead before Roccaforte later added a double to plate Higgs for a 5-0 cushion.
Taylor followed with an opposite-field double to score Brock and Roccaforte before Taylor would score on a double steal and Max Marusak lifted a sacrifice fly to score Will Veillon.
Southern got on the board in the fifth on JJ Rollon’s two-run, ground-rule double before scoring three times in the eighth behind an RBI single from Jalon Mack and a two-run single from Caleb Tart.
Mack, Tart and Jacoby Radcliffe had two hits each for the Jaguars. Fidanza allowed nine runs – all earned – and scattered seven hits in 2.1 innings for Southern.
Louisiana will close out its home midweek schedule on Wednesday when it plays host to in-state opponent Northwestern State at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with fans able to listen to the game in the Lafayette area on 103.3 The Goat, 1420 AM and worldwide on the Varsity Network app.
Single-game tickets are available by visiting the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome or purchasing by visiting Account Manager [am.ticketmaster.com]. For more information call the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome at (337) 265-2104.
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"To prove to them that they didn't make the wrong decision by picking me and I have to make the decision to prove to myself that there's a reason why you're here", says Cajuns tight end Johnny Lumpkin. "So, that's the biggest thing about me always playing with a chip on my shoulder about the adversity and the challenges I always went through."
"It's going to be a call that many people can dream about but only 10% of the world can probably get, maybe less than that. It's going to be something that's special in the sense for those who are around me."
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