LAFAYETTE – Entering the ninth inning down 7-6, Louisiana’s Connor Kimple scored on an errant throw by Tulane’s catcher while trying to steal third, forcing the game into extra innings where the Ragin’ Cajuns eventually outlasted Tulane by a score of 9-8 on Saturday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
CJ Willis came up big in his Louisiana debut, reaching base four times after going 3-for-4 on the day. The LSU transfer started off the two-run 10th inning by scoring the go-ahead run to make the game, 8-7, before a Carson Roccaforte sacrifice fly gave Louisiana an insurance run to steal a 9-8 victory.
Kimple and Brennan Breaux joined Willis as the three Ragin’ Cajuns to collect multi-hit games on the day.
Louisiana was the first to strike in Saturday's game on a Breaux RBI single to center field, scoring Kimple in the first inning.
Tulane tacked on two runs of its own in the bottom of the first without recording a hit. Starting Louisiana pitcher Conor Angel, who exited in the third inning, walked two batters and Tulane took advantage of a wild pitch and a ground out to bring the score to 2-1 in favor of the Green Wave.
The Cajuns and Green Wave traded runs until Louisiana tacked on three runs in the top of the fourth inning thanks to Kimple getting plunked with the bases loaded, an RBI single by Roccaforte and Tyler Robertson scoring on a wild pitch to make the game 5-3.
Chipper Menard, who relieved Angel, was grooving until he exited the game in the the fifth and was replaced by David Christie. Tulane added four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take back the lead at 7-5.
From there, Louisiana played pick up, getting a run in the seventh inning from a Willis triple and then the bad throw that scored Kimple which tied the game at 7-7.
From the sixth inning on, Louisiana’s bullpen effort was impressive. Jacob Schultz threw 2.1 innings of shutout baseball, while Austin Perrin, who made his first appearance since the 2019 season, went 0.2 of an inning.
Dane Dixon (1-0) and Brandon Talley (S, 1) shut the door for Louisiana, combining for 2.1 innings of relief and most importantly, holding Tulane to one run in the late innings before Talley ended the game striking out Trevor Minder with the tying run on second base to give Louisiana the victory.
Louisiana will try for the series win tomorrow afternoon with first pitch at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. Fans can listen to the game on KPEL 9
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