MONROE – Max Marusak capped off an impressive weekend at the plate getting hits in his first two at-bats, including a solo homer in the second inning, and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns earned a weather-shortened, six-inning 10-0 victory over ULM to complete a three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep on Sunday at Lou St. Amant Field.
Marusak and Carson Roccaforte scored three runs each as Louisiana (32-17, 14-10 SBC) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning before taking a 6-0 lead into the fourth before a weather delay of 88 minutes kept the teams off the field. A second delay in the bottom of the seventh inning forced the teams off the field before the game was officially called.
After the initial delay, Louisiana scored four times in the fifth inning after taking advantage of a pair of ULM (16-32, 5-18 SBC) errors.
Marusak, who went 5-for-5 in Saturday’s 12-4 win, led off the game with a single through the left side on the first pitch of the game before stealing both second and third. After Heath Hood drew a walk to put runners on the corners, Conor Higgs’ infield single off ULM starter Justin Robinson (0-1) plated Marusak for a 1-0 lead.
Louisiana, which stole four bases in the first inning and seven in the game to move to within one of tying the school-record (145) set in 1991 and 2002, executed a double steal with Hood advancing to third and Higgs to second before Julian Brock’s RBI grounder scored Hood for a 2-0 lead.
Roccaforte and John Taylor followed with back-to-back RBI doubles as Louisiana recorded four hits in the inning and lead 4-0.
Marusak gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 5-0 lead in the second inning after connecting on a 1-and-2 curveball for a 433-foot blast to left-center field. Roccaforte, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, would draw a one-out walk in the third before eventually scoring on a wild pitch to extend Louisiana’s lead to 6-0.
Louisiana’s first four batters in the fifth – Brock, Roccaforte, Taylor and Will Veillon – each collected base hits off ULM reliever Carson Orton with Taylor’s infield chopper driving in Brock with Roccaforte scoring after the first Warhawk error on an errant throw to the plate.
Veillon would drive in Taylor from third on an RBI double to left before Kyle DeBarge drove in Marusak with a two-out double into the left-field gap.
Cooper Rawls (10-0) pitched the final 2.2 innings for Louisiana to earn the win and move into a four-way tie for the national lead with Grant Rogers (McNeese), Rhett Lowder (Wake Forest) and Omar Melandez (Alabama State). Jake Hammond, a Monroe native and former Ouachita High product, earned the start for Louisiana and allowed one hit and fanned three through 3.0 innings of work.
Robinson, making his first career start, took the loss for the Warhawks after surrendering six runs on six hits in 3.0 innings. Matt Abshire went 2-for-2 to lead ULM’s four-hit attack with Jarrett McDonald reaching on a sixth-inning double.
Louisiana will close out its midweek schedule on Tuesday when it visits Louisiana Tech (24-25) in a 6 p.m. game. The game will be streamed on CUSA.tv (subscription required) with fans able to listen to the game in the Lafayette area on 103.3 The Goat, 1420 AM and worldwide on the Varsity Network app.
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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