LAFAYETTE – After trading runs with Tulane in the third consecutive extra-inning game of the weekend, Louisiana used a Ben Fitzgerald pinch-hit solo home run and a Brennan Breaux RBI double to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 9-7 victory in 12 innings on Sunday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
The team was also aided by Sunday's winning pitcher, Jack Burk (1-0), who threw from the eighth inning on and earned his first victory since May 10, 2019.
Louisiana’s (2-1) three four-year transfers played a vital role in Sunday's victory. Drake Osborn went 4-for-6 with a double, home run and three RBI, while CJ Willis and Brett Borgogno both collected two hits in the contest.
Tulane started the scoring in Sunday's contest with a Luis Aviles home run that cleared the center field wall. Bennett Lee also added to the Tulane lead by singling up the middle bringing home Chase Engelhard, making the game 2-0 after two innings.
Louisiana tagged the Green Waves' starter, Jack Aldrich, for four runs in the top of the fourth inning courtesy of a Willis RBI single and a three-run home run by Osborn, his first bomb as a Ragin’ Cajun.
Tulane added a run of its own in the fourth inning when the Green Wave capitalized on two infield singles and an error to score a run and make the game 4-3.
Aside from the second inning, starting pitcher Carter Robinson was great. The right-handed pitcher went five innings, gave up two earned runs and struck out five batters.
Robinson was replaced by Jason Nelson, who put in 2.0 innings of work and gave up one run in the bottom of the seventh, which tied the game at 4-4.
Louisiana opened the eighth inning with a Willis single to right followed by Osborn bringing him home with an RBI double. With the infield in and Osborn standing on third, Sam Riola laced a single up the middle, scoring Willis to make the game 6-4 in favor of the Cajuns.
Like so many other times in this series, Tulane’s Corbin Burns doubled to left field and Trevor Minder hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield to make the game 6-6.
Matt Deggs called Carson Roccaforte’s number in the top of the 10th inning and the freshman delivered with a pinch-hit RBI single, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns the advantage once again.
Tulane’s Burns doubled down the right field line in the bottom of the frame with two outs, scoring Jared Hart all the way from first base to tie the game at 7-7.
In the top of the 11th inning, Fitzgerald channeled his inner Kirk Gibson and hit an opposite field home run off Sunday's losing pitcher, Robert Price (1-1), to put Louisiana ahead 8-7. Breaux’s double later in the inning provided insurance before Burk closed the door in the 9-7 victory.
Louisiana will take on Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night in the 2021 home opener, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on ESPN 1420AM and watch it on ESPN+.
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