Louisiana Wins Close 3-2 Contest Against Nicholls State
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns extended their winning streak to six games behind quality pitching performances in a 3-2 midweek victory at home against the Nicholls State Colonels.
With the win, the Cajuns improved to 18-11 on the season.
Louisiana's pitching staff did an excellent job of preventing big hits by Nicholls State. The Colonels' hitters were held to 2-18 with runners on base and 0-14 with runners in scoring position. They out-hit the Cajuns 8-7, but stranded 13 runners in nine innings.
Nicholls State used nine pitchers, giving Louisiana's hitters different looks throughout the game to keep them off-balance. The Cajuns flirted with a big inning multiple times but ultimately settled with the 3-2 win.
Senior Jack Burk got the start for the Cajuns and worked around early trouble. The Colonels loaded the bases with one out in the opening frame, but Burk managed to keep them scoreless with a pop up and groundout.
Burk gave up a lead-off solo home run in the second inning, but he finished his night by retiring six-straight batters. He pitched three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run while striking out three.
It did not take long for the Cajuns to answer Nicholls' first lead of the contest. In the bottom half of the second, Bobby Lada and Brennan Breaux lead off the inning with consecutive singles, and a wild pitch allowed Lada to score to tie the game.
With two outs in the second inning, Brett Borgogno, who reached on a fielder's choice, got caught in a rundown in between first and second base, but he stalled for long enough to allow Breaux to steal home from third base and give the Cajuns their first lead of the night at 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, the Cajuns added what eventually became the winning run of the game. With two outs in the inning, Tyler Robertson singled with a bunt, stole second base and scored on a fielding error to give the Cajuns a 3-1 lead. It was the last run Louisiana's offense produced against the Nicholls pitching staff.
Freshman pitcher Chipper Menard took over in relief of Burk and stranded runners in scoring position in both of the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth inning, the Colonels broke through with a run on Menard, but he stranded two more runners to keep the Cajuns in front with a 3-2 lead.
Menard earned his first victory of the season for the Cajuns, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out five without a walk in three innings of work.
Louisiana's offense had an opportunity to answer the Colonels' run in the sixth. They loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning with two outs, but a strikeout kept them from giving their bullpen some run support.
Carter Robinson came in for Menard in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings for the Cajuns. Hayden Durke pitched the ninth inning for Louisiana and earned his first save of the season with a scoreless frame of his own, securing the low-scoring 3-2 victory.
Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs said that he would never complain about a win, and he complimented the Nicholls State pitching staff and coaching.
"They're very well coached," Deggs said. "They know how to compete, and they ran some good arms on us tonight. A win's a win."
Up next, the Cajuns will look to continue their winning streak when they host Sun Belt Conference foe Arkansas State for a three-game weekend series at home starting on Friday at 6:00 p.m.