Louisiana’s Comeback Bid Against Troy Falls Short in 6-5 Loss
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns were unable to overcome a poor start and dropped game one of their three-game weekend conference series to the Troy Trojans 6-5.
With the loss, the Cajuns are now 28-22 overall and 11-11 in Sun Belt Conference play. They are currently in third place in the Sun Belt West Division.
The top of the first inning was disastrous for the Cajuns defense and starting pitcher Spencer Arrighetti. A leadoff double and a batter hit by a pitch put two on with nobody out. A single after a sacrifice bunt scored the opening run of the game, and a passed ball scored another run to make it 2-0.
After getting the second out of the inning, two-straight walks loaded the bases. A fielding error scored two more runs and Troy jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.
It took Arrighetti 36 pitches to get through the opening frame. He settled down with two scoreless innings, but the Trojans used a solo home run and two-out RBI-double in the fourth to stretch the lead to 6-0. Arrighetti's night was over after that inning.
Head coach Matt Deggs said the slow start was a big issue in the important conference match.
"We've got to get off to a better start in leverage games," Deggs said. "That's not the start we wanted to get off to. I think we will bounce back tomorrow and have a chance to win the series."
With two outs in the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Cajuns plated their first runs of the game on a fielding error by the Trojans. They scored two to cut into Troy's lead and make it 6-2.
Austin Bradford came on in relief of Arrighetti to begin the fifth inning and he had a fantastic performance for the Cajuns. He threw four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing only two hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
A strikeout stranded two runners in scoring position for Louisiana in the fifth, but they scored again on another Troy fielding error in the sixth to make it 6-3.
The Cajuns offense struggled with runners on base in the series opener. Through seven innings, Louisiana was only 1-17 with runners on base and 0-7 with runners in scoring position.
In the eighth inning, Carson Roccaforte recorded the second Cajuns hit with a runner on base, using a two-run home run to cut the lead to 6-5.
However, Troy used their closer to get the final five outs of the game, and Louisiana's comeback fell short in the 6-5 loss.
Deggs explained the areas where the Cajuns offense needs to improve.
"We've got to quit fouling off fastballs and we've got to be able to drive guys in," Deggs said. "Until that happens, things are going to be up and down."
Game two of the series is set for Friday at 6:00 p.m. Connor Cooke will pitch for Louisiana as they look to tie up the series.