Cajuns Draw Even in USM Series

Cajuns Draw Even in USM Series

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team pushed across 11 runs over the middle innings – six coming in the fifth inning – to pull away from Southern Miss and register a 13-4 victory here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park.

The Ragin' Cajuns (12-3) six-spot in the fifth inning broke open a 4-3 contest and the majority of the damage came off of a pair of relievers who failed to record an out.

Cord Cockrell tossed the final 4 1/3 innings for Louisiana and scattered three hits in shutout relief as the Cajuns evened the weekend series with the Golden Eagles (7-7) who took Friday's contest 9-2.

The teams wrap up the non-conference weekend series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Austin Robichaux (1-0, 2.40 ERA) gets the start for Louisiana and he'll be opposed by USM's Conor Fisk (0-0, 0.00 ERA) making his first appearance of the season. Steve Peloquin will call the action on News Talk Radio 96.5 FM.

Back-to-back singles from Ryan Wilson and Dex Kjerstad off of USM reliever James McMahon opened the top of the fifth inning. Coming off a three-run inning which cut his team's deficit to 4-3, USM coach Scott Berry called Cameron Giannini out of the bullpen in hopes of preventing a big inning by the Cajuns.

The Cajuns would not only get the two runs McMahon was responsible for, but an additional four off of Giannini to put the game out of reach.

Ryan Leonards reached on a bunt down the third base line to load the bases. Giainnini struggled to find the strike zone issuing two bases-loaded walks around a Caleb Adams RBI single as UL's lead grew to 7-3.

Daniel Wineski was the third USM pitcher of the fifth inning and he entered with the bases loaded and still no outs. He eventually closed out the Cajuns half of the frame, but not before a Chase Compton sacrifice fly and RBI singles from Sam Carriere and Nick Thurman increased the lead to 10-3.

The Cajuns finished off the scoring in the sixth inning, responding to a USM fifth inning tally with three runs off of the combination of a Caleb Adams grounder, USM throwing error and Compton RBI single.

Six different Cajuns had multiple-hit games led by Ryan Leonards' three hits. Adams hit his fourth home run of the season and tied Thurman for team-high honors with three RBI.

The Cajuns peppered USM pitching with 14 hits, nine off of the Golden Eagles bullpen.

The victory kept the Cajuns streak of avoiding back-to-back losses intact. It also allowed Louisiana to reclaim the all-time series lead with USM at 20-19.

The Ragin' Cajuns were the first to score this time. A two-run triple by Thurman in the second inning staked the Cajuns to a 2-0 lead.

Cody Boutte protected the lead by inducing a double play ball in the second inning and stranding a USM runner at third base in the third inning.

Adams homered for the second straight Saturday, leading off the Cajuns half of the fourth with a solo shot off of USM starter Jake Drehoff. Tyler Girouard walked, advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a Logan Preston sacrifice fly to up the lead to 4-0.

A Mason Robbins triple followed up a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth inning and gave USM its first run. Boutte was able to collect back-to-back ground outs to third base, but a two-out double by Chase Fowler and single from Dillon Day added two more runs and cut the Cajuns lead to 4-3.

Matt Plitt relieved Boutte and fielded a grounder from Michael Sterling to end the inning and strand Day who after back-to-back stolen bases was at third base.

BASES NOTED: The Cajuns collected their fifth victory of six-plus runs…The 13 runs scored marked the fourth double digit run game of the season…Cord Cockrell equaled the longest relief outing by a Cajuns pitcher at 4 1/3 innings, matching the exact amount he threw in relief of Chase Traffica in the season opener (2/15 vs. CMU)…All four of Caleb Adams' home runs have come on Saturday (hit three last Saturday vs. Sacred Heart)…Louisiana has now produced 52 runs over the middle innings and outscored the opposition 52-27…The Cajuns scored first for the eighth time and remain perfect (8-0) in the situation in 2013…Ryan Leonards started at second base and Logan Preston at first base as Jace Conrad and Chase Compton received a day off…Compton would later pinch hit and finished 2-for-2 marking his second multi-hit game of the season…Sam Carriere picked up his first multiple-hit game of the season and his Cajuns career, finishing 2-for-4…Louisiana remained unbeaten on Saturday, improving to 5-0 on the date…The victory combined with South Alabama's 15-2 loss to North Florida, moved Louisiana within a half game of the Jaguars (13-3) for first place in the Sun Belt standings.

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