LAFAYETTE – Drake Pierson and Logan Jordan broke open a 4-4 deadlock with home runs in a three-run sixth inning and Campbell got out of a second bases-loaded, ninth-inning jam in as many days to earn an 8-6 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
The series finale between the 2022 NCAA Regional participants is set for Sunday in a 1 p.m. contest. Louisiana (6-4) will send right-hander Jackson Nezuh (0-0, 17.05 ERA) to the mound with Campbell (8-1) countering with right-hander Ernie Day (0-0, 6.75 ERA).
The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with fans able to listen to the game in the Lafayette area on KPEL-FM (96.5) and worldwide on the Varsity Network app.
Louisiana, which collected 11 hits but stranded 10 runners, struck first with a pair of runs in the second inning off Campbell starter Chance Daquila (3-0) as Luke Yuhasz and Lee Amedee each drove in their first collegiate runs with two-out singles.
The Fighting Camels would score three times in the third for a 3-2 lead as Lawson Harrill hit an RBI single through the left side before Grant Knipp drove in two with a single up the middle.
The Ragin’ Cajuns tied the game in the third after Heath Hood reached on a two-out error, stole second and scored on Mason Zambo’s RBI single to right
The teams would trade runs again in the fifth inning after Campbell took a 4-3 lead after Jordan led off with a double before eventually scoring from third on a wild pitch. Louisiana answered after Kyle DeBarge led off the bottom half of the frame with a double down the left-field line before scoring when Hood extended his hit streak to 10 games with an RBI single to right.
Campbell would break the game open in the sixth inning when Pierson hit his second home run of the series – a solo shot of left off Louisiana reliever JT Etheridge (0-1) before Jordan hit his first homer of the season three batters later with a two-out shot to left for a 7-4 lead.
Louisiana would chip away at the lead with a run in the seventh off Aaron Rund a Carson Roccaforte drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Hood’s bunt single and scored when Zambo singled through the right side.
Rund, who pitched the final 4.0 innings to earn the save, would get out of a jam after Zambo’s hit as he fanned three straight hitters with the tying run at second.
The Fighting Camels would add an insurance run in the ninth for an 8-5 lead as Harrill led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Knipp’s RBI single to right.
Louisiana would threaten in the ninth after Hood collected his third hit of the game with a one-out single to left. Zambo would follow with an opposite-field single and Julian Brock drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Trey LaFleur hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Hood and advance the runners, but Rund fanned Yuhasz to seal the win.
Daquila earned the win for the Camels after scattering seven hits and allowing four runs, including three earned, in 5.0 innings of work. Rund gave up a pair of runs and allowed four hits over the final four innings and fanned six as Campbell won its second of nine straight games on the road.
Hood and Zambo each went 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Louisiana with Brock going 2-for-4 with a double. Yuhasz and Amedee each finished 1-for-4 with an RBI in their first career starts for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Tommy Ray allowed three runs on five hits in 3.0 innings in a starting role for Louisiana with Etheridge suffering the loss after allowing three runs with a pair of strikeouts in 1.2 innings in relief. Ben Tate allowed one hit and fanned two in 2.1 innings in relief in his Ragin’ Cajuns home debut while Taylor Parrett fanned a pair of batters in an inning of work.
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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