LAFAYETTE – Heath Hood led off the ninth inning with a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch to help the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns claim a wild 8-7 win over in-state rival Tulane on Tuesday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Ben Robichaux and CJ Willis each homered for Louisiana (20-9) while John Taylor went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead a nine-hit attack.
Tulane (8-21) trailed 7-1 in the ninth before scoring six times, highlighted by home runs from Jackson Linn and Brayden Morrow.
Hood, who extended his streak of reaching base in consecutive games to 46, led off the ninth with a double into the left-field corner off Tulane reliever Billy Price (0-1) before moving to third on Taylor’s sacrifice bunt.
Michael Fowler – the 10th pitcher used by the Green Wave – relieved Price with two outs in the inning and walked Willis to put runners on the corners. With Max Marusak at the plate, Fowler then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Hood to score from third under the tag.
Louisiana trailed 1-0 until the third inning when it scored three times to take a 3-1 lead. Willis drew a two-out walk off Green Wave reliever Blake Mahmood before moving to second on a wild pitch. Marusak then followed with Louisiana’s second hit of the game, a single to center to drive in Willis and knot the game at 1-1.
After Marusak stole second, Robichaux followed with his first collegiate homer – a 412-foot blast to right-center – to give Louisiana a 3-1 lead.
Willis increased Louisiana’s lead to 6-1 in the fifth after belting his first home run since April 11, 2021 with a three-run blast to right off Tulane’s Colin Reilly. Taylor would follow with an RBI single in the sixth after Hood reached on a two-out walk, moved to second on an error, stole third and scored to put Louisiana ahead, 7-1.
Linn hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer to left to keep Tulane alive before Chase Engelhard reached on a two-out walk, Adam Ebling hit a pinch-hit single to center and Morrow hit an opposite-field homer to right off Louisiana reliever Ben Tate.
Tate (1-1), facing his former team for the first time, earned the win for Louisiana after getting pinch-hitter Brennan Lambert to fly out to left. JT Etheridge, the first of six pitchers used by Louisiana, allowed one hit in 2.0 innings in his first career start before David Christie pitched 3.0 innings of hitless relief.
Louisiana will resume Sun Belt Conference play beginning on Thursday when it travels to Charleston, W.Va., to face Marshall in a three-game series at GoMart Ballpark. First pitch for Thursday’s opener is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT and will be steamed live on ESPN+.
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