LAFAYETTE – Austin Beech hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning as ULM scored five runs in the frame and rallied to a 7-5 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team in a Sun Belt Conference game on Friday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Louisiana (19-15, 8-6 SBC), which led 5-2 after eight innings, had its season-high, five-game win streak snapped. Max Marusak went 3-for-5 at the plate with a single, double and triple to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns while Tyler Robertson went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.
ULM (12-20-1, 5-8-1 SBC) began its rally in the ninth after pinch-hitter Travis Washburn drew a walk and moved to second when Cole Stromboe was hit by a pitch from Ragin’ Cajuns reliever Cooper Rawls (2-1). Mason Holt reached on a fielder’s choice breaking up a potential double play and placing ULM runners on the corners with one out. Rawls was then called for a balk, allowing Washburn to score and cut the lead to 5-3.
Ryan Cupit then followed with an RBI single to center to drive in Holt, which cut the deficit to 5-4. The Warhawks broke up a potential game-ending, double play when Grant Schulz beat out an infield grounder to third before Beech homered to right to chase Rawls and give the Warhawks a 6-5 lead.
Nicholas Judice (1-0) earned the win for ULM, retiring a pair of batters after relieving Jackie Robinson with one out in the eighth. Carson Orton pitched the ninth for the Warhawks to earn his fourth save.
Louisiana trailed 1-0 in the first inning when Marusak led off with a triple and scored on Robertson’s RBI double to left. Carson Roccaforte reached on a one-out Warhawk throwing error, allowing Robertson to score before scoring on Heath Hood’s fielder’s choice to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 3-1 lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns scored twice in the fifth as Marusak hit a one-out double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Robertson’s RBI single. Robertson would give Louisiana a 5-1 lead as he scored from second on Jonathan Brandon’s two-out RBI single off ULM starter Cole Cressend.
Jacob Schultz pitched 5.1 innings for Louisiana, scattering four hit and striking out three. Brandon added a pair of hits for Louisiana while Connor Kimple added a fourth-inning single.
The final game of the three-game series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. Louisiana will send senior Jeff Wilson (2-1, 4.17 ERA) to the mound with ULM countering with right-hander Lucas Wepf (1-2, 5.14 ERA).
The game will not be televised. Fans can listen to the game in the Lafayette area on KPEL-FM (96.5), the #GeauxCajuns app and the Varsity Network.
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