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Louisiana Earns SBC Sweep Of A-State In Windy, Wild Finale, 7-4

Louisiana finishes 4-1 on roadtrip; will host McNeese on Tuesday
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-10 19:44:09-04

JONESBORO, Ark. – Jonathan Brandon went 3-for-4 with a double and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Baseball team earned its first Sun Belt Conference sweep of the season with a 7-4 victory over Arkansas State on a windy Sunday afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.

Julian Brock had a career-high four hits while Max Marusak and Tyler Robertson had two hit apiece to lead Louisiana (18-14, 7-5 SBC) to its fourth straight victory in wrapping up a five-game roadtrip.

Playing in a contest that featured sustained winds blowing in at 25 miles per hour with gusts into the upper 30's, Louisiana broke through in the 10th inning after leaving the bases loaded in the ninth.

Brandon, who recorded his second career, three-hit game, drew a one-out walk from Arkansas State reliever Tyler Jeans (0-4) and advanced to third on Brock's single to left. Bobby Lada then drew a walk to load the bases before Jeans uncorked a wild pitch and allowing Brandon to score and break a 4-4 tie.

Marusak, who went 2-for-6 and drove in three RBI, then hit an RBI single to center, allowing Brock and Lada to score and give the Ragin' Cajuns a 7-4 lead.

Cooper Rawls (2-0) pitched the final 2.0 innings to earn his second win in five days, allowing one hit and striking out two in relief.

Louisiana overcame a four-run deficit as Arkansas State (5-24, 0-12 SBC) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before scoring three times in the third. The Red Wolves took their first lead of the series in the second Wil French hit a two-out, RBI single before scoring three times off Louisiana starter Jeff Wilson.

Deadrick Cail led off the third for Arkansas State with a single – one of six times the leadoff man reached base for the Red Wolves – before scoring on Ben Klutts' triple to left. Jared Toler and Cooper Tremmel each added two-out, RBI singles to give A-State momentum.

But A-State's momentum evaporated in the fifth inning as it committed three of its five errors in the frame after Brandon led off with a double. Brandon got Louisiana on the board when Lada reached on a one-out error to second and the Ragin' Cajuns would cut the lead in half when Marusak's RBI single to left scored Lada from second.

Robertson, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, then hit an RBI single to left and moved to second on the second Red Wolves' miscue of the frame. After Robertson moved to third on Kyle DeBarge's infield hit, Carson Roccaforte lifted a fly ball to left which was dropped and allowing Robertson to score and tie the game.

Arkansas State missed on a scoring opportunity in the eighth inning after Tremmel led off with a single off reliever Tommy Ray and moved to third when French reached on an attempted sacrifice bunt and moved to second on a Louisiana throwing error.

Eli Davis drew a walk from Roccaforte to load the bases before Ray moved back to the mound from first base and picked up a pair of strikeouts with an inning-ending grounder to Lada at second.

Louisiana, which stranded 10 runners in the game, loaded the bases in the ninth inning after Robertson hit a two-out double to left, DeBarge reached on an error and Roccaforte was intentionally walked. Jeans, who scattered four hits and walked three, got out of the jam as he got pinch-hitter Will Veillon to ground out to short.

David Christie pitched 1.2 innings and picked up a pair of key strikeouts in the seventh for Louisiana, which received 7.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen.

Carter Holt, making his first start of the season in SBC play, scattered seven hits, allowed four runs and struck out five in 5.0 innings of work for Arkansas State. Tremmel went 3-for-4 to lead the Red Wolves at the plate while Cail was 2-for-5 with a walk.

Louisiana will return home for its next four games beginning on Tuesday (April 12) when it hosts in-state rival McNeese at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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