LAFAYETTE – Louisiana's Jacob Schultz scattered five hits and struck out six batters through a career-best eight innings on the mound, but Georgia Southern scored two runs in the eighth and added a pair of runs in the ninth to earn a 4-3 victory in the second game of a Sun Belt Conference series on Saturday at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
The final game of the three-game series is set for Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The game can be heard in the Lafayette area on KPEL-FM (96.5) and on the #GeauxCajuns app. Live statistics will be available at CajunStats.com.
Louisiana (13-13, 3-5 Sun Belt) led 3-0 after seven innings as Schultz pitched efficiently in his second start of the year. The senior right-hander twice retired Georgia Southern (18-9, 6-2 Sun Belt) in order while being aided by a pair of inning-ending double plays.
The Ragin' Cajuns built an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Carson Roccaforte hit a two-run single to drive in Max Marusak and Tyler Robertson. Louisiana added a run in the fourth inning as it loaded the bases on Georgia Southern starter Ty Fisher with Julian Brock's sacrifice fly driving in Connor Kimple.
Schultz, who recorded Louisiana's second quality start of the year, worked out of a jam in the fifth inning after giving up a single to Noah Searcy and walking Jarrett Brown. Aaron Thompson would load the bases when he reached on an infield single, but Schultz would get out of the frame as he forced Parker Biederer into a fielder's choice before getting Jesse Sherrill to ground out to first.
Georgia Southern broke the shutout in the eighth inning as Noah Ledford hit a two-out, two-run home run to cut the lead to 3-2. After getting Louisiana to hit into a double-play in the eighth inning, the Eagles opened the ninth with a single by Brown off Chipper Menard (2-1) before pinch-hitter Blake Evans was hit by a pitch.
Thompson would move both runners up on a sacrifice bunt before Biederer's bunt single past the mound would score Brown and tie the game at 3-3.
After Sherrill popped up for the second out, Jason Swan beat out a grounder to second, allowing Evans to score the go-ahead run.
Ben Johnson (2-2) pitched the final two innings to earn the win for the Eagles, who collected five of their eight hits in the final two innings. Fisher pitched 7.0 innings for Georgia Southern, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs – two of them unearned. Swan and Brown each led Georgia Southern with two hits each while Ledford hit his fifth home run of the season.
Kimple led Louisiana at the plate going 3-for-3 with a run scored. Robertson was 2-for-3 at the plate for Louisiana while Marusak and Will Veillon each recorded singles.
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