LAFAYETTE – Tyler Halstead and Grant Knipp combined for five of Campbell’s 11 hits while Cade Kuehler and Ty Cummings combined to fan 15 batters as the Fighting Camels claimed a 5-2 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the opening game of a three-game series on Friday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
The series between the 2022 NCAA Regional participants resumes on Saturday in a 2 p.m. contest. Louisiana (6-3) will send right-hander Tommy Ray (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound with Campbell (7-1) countering with right-hander Chance Daquila (2-0, 5.40 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.
Both teams traded runs in the first inning as Campbell took a 1-0 lead on Drake Pierson’s one-out homer to left-center off Louisiana starter Jake Hammond (0-1) before the Ragin’ Cajuns answered in the bottom half of the inning when Carson Roccaforte’s double into the right-field corner scored Heath Hood.
The Camels plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning, one batter after Lawson Harrill was thrown out at home after trying to score on Logan Jordan’s single to left. Knipp would follow with a two-out home run to left to give Campbell the lead for good at 3-1.
Louisiana would close the gap in the bottom half of the inning after Julian Brock led off the inning with a ground-rule double to left and scoring two batters later on Will Veillon’s fielder’s choice.
Campbell would capitalize off a pair of Ragin’ Cajuns errors in the seventh inning to score a pair of runs and extend its lead. Knipp, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, led off the inning with a ground-rule double off Louisiana reliever David Christie before Bryce Arnold struck out.
Reliever Dylan Theut came in for Christie and immediately fanned Jarrod Belbin for the second out in the inning before Pierson was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Halstead, who was 3-for-5 at the plate, then singled to left field to drive in Knipp, but a pair of throwing errors allowed Pierson to score from first and Halstead to reach third for a 5-2 lead.
Louisiana would threaten in the ninth after Mason Zambo and pinch-hitter Lee Amedee reached on singles to open the frame. Cummings, who pitched the final three innings to earn his first save, would fan pinch-hitters Conor Higgs and John Taylor before issuing a walk to CJ Willis to load the bases.
Cummings, who allowed two hits and fanned five, would get Kyle DeBarge to ground out with the bases loaded to seal the win for Campbell. Kuehler (2-0) scattered five hits and struck out 10 batters for Campbell, which was playing the first of nine straight games on the road, including five in the state of Louisiana.
Zambo went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Louisiana at the plate with Hood reaching on a third-inning double to extend his hit streak to nine games. Hammond dropped his first decision of the season after scattering nine hits, allowing three runs and tying a career-high with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
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.
Fans are encouraged to stay engaged with the Ragin' Cajuns by downloading the #GeauxCajuns app. Click here [apps.apple.com] for iOS/Apple platforms and here [play.google.com] for Android platforms.
For the latest updates on Ragin' Cajuns baseball, follow on Facebook (RaginCajunsBaseball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsBSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsBSB) or check RaginCajuns.com.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers