LAFAYETTE – Jeff Wilson tossed a complete-game, four-hitter with a career-best 10 strikeouts and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns erupted for a season-high 17 hits to earn a 10-1 victory over Houston in the non-conference series finale Sunday afternoon at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.
Carson Roccaforte went 4-for-5 at the plate with a career-high four RBI while Heath Hood and Kyle DeBarge added three hits each as Louisiana (8-7) scored nine runs in the final four innings to pull away from a 1-1 tie.
Wilson (1-0), a former reliever who earned a spot in the weekend rotation in 2022, recorded his first career decision as he limited Houston (10-6) to a pair of hits after the first inning. The senior right-hander recorded Louisiana's first quality start of the season while posting the first complete game since Connor Cooke faced Arkansas State on April 10, 2021.
After a 28-pitch, first inning in which the Cougars took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Hernandez beat an infield shift with an RBI single, Wilson allowed a leadoff single to Rey Mendoza in the fourth inning before retiring 17 of the final 18 batters he faced.
Louisiana tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning as it capitalized on two-out hitting from Roccaforte and Hood. Roccaforte hit an opposite-field single to left before stealing second and moving to third on Hood's RBI single to center.
Two innings later, Roccaforte gave Louisiana the lead for good after he drove in DeBarge with an RBI grounder to second. DeBarge, who went 3-for-5 at the plate, led off the inning with a double-off Houston starter Jaycob Deese (0-1) before moving to third on Tyler Robertson's sacrifice bunt.
The Ragin' Cajuns extended their lead to 3-1 in the sixth as Bobby Lada belted the first pitch from Deese off the scoreboard in left field for his first home run of the season.
Louisiana broke the game open in the seventh as it scored three times to take a 6-1 lead and chase Deese, who allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in 6.1 innings. Roccaforte's one-out single past first base scored Will Veillon and would later score from second as Hood hit a two-run single up the middle.
Roccaforte highlighted a four-run eighth inning for the Ragin' Cajuns as his two-run triple to center scored Veillon and DeBarge while Veillon drove in Warnner Rincones with an RBI single and CJ Willis drove in Hood with an RBI single through the left side.
Brandon Uhse led Houston, which was playing its first weekend series in Lafayette since 2002, at the plate going 2-for-4.
Louisiana will now play 12 of its next 18 games on the road beginning on Wednesday at McNeese before opening Sun Belt Conference play with a three-game series at Troy (March 18-20).
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