HOUSTON – Carson Roccaforte delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team scored five runs to rally from a one-run deficit and claim a 7-3 win over Rice in the first game of a two-game midweek series on Tuesday at Reckling Park.
The series will conclude on Wednesday when the teams face off in a 6:30 p.m., contest. The game will be streamed live on CUSA.tv and can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN Lafayette (103.3 FM/1420 AM), the Varsity Network and the #GeauxCajuns app.
Austin Perrin (2-0) scattered a pair of hits in 3.0 innings in relief as Louisiana (29-17) won its fourth straight game overall and eighth in the 31-game series against Rice (13-35). Bo Bonds and Dylan Theut combined for 2.2 innings of hitless relief with six strikeouts as Louisiana trailed 3-2 after six innings before scoring twice in the seventh and three times in the eighth.
Roccaforte, who hit an RBI triple in the first inning to give the Ragin’ Cajuns an early 1-0 lead, greeted Rice closer Matthew Linskey with an RBI single over a drawn-in infield to drive in Connor Kimple and snap a 3-3 tie. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened the inning as Bobby Lada singled to left field before Kimple tripled to right-center field off Christian Cienfuego (0-3).
The Ragin’ Cajuns put the game away in the eighth as Julian Brock scored on Warnner Rincones’ RBI grounder, Kimple laced an RBI double down the left-field line and Heath Hood added an RBI single.
Louisiana pounded out 15 hits against Rice with Hood, Brock and Kyle DeBarge all recording three hits in the contest. Lada, playing in his hometown, went 2-for-3 at the plate for Louisiana with Kimple and Roccaforte each getting a pair of hits.
David Christie pitched 3.1 innings in his second career start for Louisiana before giving way to Perrin in the fourth.
The Owls threatened to tie the game in the seventh inning when Austin Bulman led off the inning with a double off Perrin before moving to third on a groundout. Bonds would come in to relieve Perrin and fanned Pierce Gallo and Jack Riedel to end the threat.
Riedel added an RBI single in the first inning for Rice before RBIs by Nathan Becker and Manny Garza in the third would give the Owls a 3-2 lead.
Bulman led Rice at the plate going 3-for-5 with Garza finishing 2-for-3. Garret Zaskoda, one of six pitchers used by the Owls, scattered six hits and fanned a career-high six batters in his first start while Cienfuego allowed a pair of runs on two hits in an inning of work.
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