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South Alabama evens the series against Louisiana, 6-5

Roccaforte’s career-highs in homers, RBI not enough as South Alabama evens series
carson roccaforte 2hr cajuns
Posted at 7:31 PM, Mar 26, 2022

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana’s Carson Roccaforte had a career-game belting a pair of home runs and driving in all five runs, but South Alabama got key hits from the bottom of its lineup to earn a 6-5 victory on Saturday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.

Matt Boswell (4-1) pitched a complete game for South Alabama (16-4, 4-1 Sun Belt) as he scattered four hits and fanned eight overall. Hunter Donaldson went 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of runs scored while Santi Montiel and backup catcher Reid Powers had two hits each as the Jaguars scored three times in the sixth inning to snap a 3-3 contest.

South Alabama built a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning as an RBI grounder by Charles Middleton in the first, an RBI single by Donaldson and Powers’ fourth-inning RBI single up the middle.

Boswell retired the first nine batters in order before Max Marusak led off the fourth with a bunt single to third and Tyler Robertson was hit by a pitch. Roccaforte, who finished 2-for-3, then hit a 0-and-1 pitch over the left-field fence for his fifth home run of the season and tying the game at 3-3.

The game remained tied until the sixth inning when South Alabama opened the frame with a pair of singles off Louisiana starter Jacob Schultz (1-3). Montiel and Donaldson each reached base to lead the inning before Powers, who entered the game 2-for-24 on the season, hit a one-out single up the middle to give South Alabama a 4-3 lead.

Miles Simington and Middleton would later drive in runs on bases-loaded walks as the Jaguars would send nine men to the plate.

The Ragin’ Cajuns cut the lead to 6-4 in the bottom half of the inning as Robertson led off with a double, moved to third on Kyle DeBarge’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Roccaforte lifted a fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly.

Boswell retired 10 batters in a row until Roccaforte drilled his second home run of the game, a solo shot to right-center field, before striking out Will Veillon and getting pinch-hitter Heath Hood to ground out to second.

Middleton and Powers each drove in two runs for the Jaguars, who had 12 hits in the game. Montiel, Donaldson, reserve Brandon Auerbach and Powers – the No. 6-9 hitters in the lineup – combined to record eight hits and five runs scored for South Alabama.

Schultz, making his first start since April 5, 2019, scattered 11 hits and struck out three in 5.1 innings of work. Tommy Ray pitched the final 3.1 innings for Louisiana, allowing one hit and striking out five.

The final game of the three-game series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. Louisiana will send right-hander Jeff Wilson (1-1, 4.38 ERA) to the mound with South Alabama countering with right-hander JoJo Booker (2-0, 3.28 ERA).

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