MOBILE, Ala. – Mitchell Heer’s two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning helped South Alabama rally and claim a 12-11 victory over Louisiana in the opening game of a Sun Belt Conference series on Friday at Stanky Field.
With expected inclement weather in the Mobile area on Sunday, the three-game series will wrap up on Saturday with Louisiana (16-7, 3-1 Sun Belt) and South Alabama (9-13, 1-3 Sun Belt) playing a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Both games 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 trailed 3-0 after the first two innings before scoring five times in the third inning to chase USA starter Gehrig Conrad. Kyle DeBarge opened the scoring for the Ragin’ Cajuns with an RBI single through the left side to score Will Veillon before Carson Roccaforte’s double off the right-field fence scored Ben Robichaux.
DeBarge would tie the game when he scored from third on a wild pitch before Roccaforte scored from third on a Jaguar throwing error. John Taylor would add an RBI single through the right side to drive in Heath Hood and give Louisiana a 5-3 lead.
The Jaguars would score a run in the third and two in the fourth to take a 6-5 lead before Louisiana would score six runs over the next three innings to take an 11-6 lead.
Julian Brock led off the fifth inning when hit his fifth home run of the season – a mammoth 458-foot blast to left – which tied the game at 6-6. The Ragin’ Cajuns would regain the lead at 7-6 when Roccaforte beat out a potential double-play grounder before Robichaux would score on a bases-loaded walk.
DeBarge increased Louisiana’s lead in the seventh when he belted his fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot to left that scored Max Marusak and Robichaux.
The Jaguars would chip away at the lead with a pair of runs in the seventh before scoring four times in the eighth.
South Alabama loaded the bases on three straight walks and closed the gap to 11-9 when Colson Lawrence beat out a potential double-play grounder to drive in Will Turner. Two batters later, Micah Morgan tripled off the fence in right-center field to tie the game before Heer singled through the right side off Louisiana reliever Brendan Moody (0-3).
Jackson Boyd (1-0) earned the win for South Alabama after pitching a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Grant Wood pitched the final inning to post his third save.
DeBarge and Brock each had two hits to lead Louisiana with DeBarge driving in four runs. Robichaux scored three times for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Veillon and Caleb Stelly each recording triples.
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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