MOBILE, Ala. – The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team scored six unanswered runs and Chris Griffitt and…
Cajuns Use Three-Run Rally in Eighth Inning
More importantly the victory pulled Louisiana into a three-way tie for seventh place – with UALR and La.-Monroe – in the Sun Belt standings instead of remaining in ninth place and falling two games behind UALR.
The Cajuns fell behind for the third time in the contest when a bases-loaded pinch hit single by Kaleb Jobe in the sixth inning gave UALR a 5-4 lead. The Trojans picked up an additional run in the seventh inning after Caleb Kellogg hit consecutive batters and Myles Parma followed with an RBI single to left center.
Kellogg ended the seventh inning with strikeouts of Chris Burk and Bryson Thionnet. The Cajuns bats went to work against the Trojans bullpen in their half of the eighth to notch the squad's first victory when trailing after seven innings in nearly two months.
With Jordan Bourque (leadoff infield single) and Brian Bowman (one-out single) having reached base, the Trojans went to their fourth pitcher of the game brining in Andrew Hohn. Jace Conrad and Dylan Butler greeted him with back-to-back RBI singles to left center field to even the score at 6-all.
After a Chase Compton walk loaded the bases, Hohn was able to field a high chopper from Tyler Girouard and flip home to force out Conrad. UALR head coach Scott Norwood elected to make a change on the mound and brought in closer Bubba Cooper.
Cooper's bid to preserve the tie was unsuccessful as Frederick worked the count full and drew the walk which forced home Butler for a 7-6 lead.
Kellogg, touched for a run for only the second time in seven Sun Belt appearances in the seventh inning, bore down and protected the lead he was handed by retiring the Trojans in order in the eighth and ninth inning.
The win rewarded the Cajuns batters who produced a season-high 15 base hits. Six different Cajuns posted a multiple-hit game led by Bourque's three-hit outing. UL's first five in the lineup – Bowman, Conrad, Butler, Compton and Girouard – all posted two hits and combined to finish 10-for-22.
Kellogg worked three innings and struck out five in posting his third win in relief. Hohn was responsible for Butler reaching base in the eighth inning and as a result was handed his third defeat.
Louisiana won on Saturday for the fourth straight weekend and has the opportunity to hand UALR its first home series loss of the 2012 season when the two squads meet on Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
The Cajuns plated the game's first run for the second straight day and did so in similar fashion. A two-out single by Girouard through the right side of the infield scored Conrad from second base.
UALR countered in the bottom of the first inning. A Sean Bingnall infield single to shortstop scored Cameron Bentley who led off with a single, advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt and stole third base.
A two-out single by Blake Johnson moved Bignall to second base and the Trojans grabbed the lead when Bowman wasn't able to complete a sliding catch on a shallow fly ball to center off the bat of Parma.
Both starting pitchers threw 20-plus pitches in the opening inning and it seemed the game would become a battle of the bullpens. A quick second inning for both UALR's Blake Huffman (five pitches) and Louisiana's Chris Griffitt (seven pitches) put them back on track. Each pitcher then retired the side in order in the third inning.
The Cajuns received a leadoff double for the second straight inning when Bourque started the fifth inning with a line drive off the left center field wall. Chris Sinclair's ability to execute a bunt allowed the Cajuns to produce the equalizer.
The bunt got past Huffman and rolled to third base allowing Sinclair to reach and Bourque to move to third base. Bowman followed with a sacrifice fly to score Bourque evening the score at 2-all.
Back-to-back, two-out doubles by and Ben Crumpton and Bignall returned the lead to the Trojans in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
The lead changed hands twice in the sixth inning. The Cajuns took a 4-3 lead after Daniel Nichols and Bourque each registered RBI singles after a Frederick sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third base. UALR loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit (two walks, hit by pitch) and reclaimed the lead on Jobe's pinch hit single off of Matt Hicks.
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