Robichaux and Adams Lead Cajuns to Win

Robichaux and Adams Lead Cajuns to Win

LAFAYETTE – Austin Robichaux pitched a complete game four-hitter and Caleb Adams delivered a game-changing home run to lead the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team to a 9-2 victory over No. 24 South Alabama in a winner's bracket game in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament here at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

The Jaguars scored a run just two at bats into the contest, then Robichaux took control holding South Alabama scoreless for 8 1/ 3 innings consecutive innings.

Adams, the first batter to face reliever Jaime Dennis in a 2-1 contest, drove a three-run home run deep over the left field wall in the third inning to extend Louisiana's lead to 5-1 which was plenty of breathing room for Robichaux.

Louisiana (40-17) sent eight batters to the plate and registered four runs in the eighth inning to put the Jaguars (41-17) away and take the driver's seat in their portion of the SBC Tournament bracket.

The win advanced the Cajuns to Saturday's bracket final contest at 12:30 p.m. where they will face the winner of Friday night's South Alabama-FIU elimination contest. UL would need just one win on Saturday to claim a spot in SBC Tournament championship game set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Robichaux earned his third complete game victory of the season and improved his record to 8-2. He induced 15 ground ball outs and had two separate streaks of six-plus consecutive batters retired.

Adams increased his team-leading home run total to 14 and drove his RBI count to 50. Dex Kjerstad collected his 28th multiple-hit game and Jace Conrad continued his hot play recording a multi-hit game for a third straight outing.

South Alabama's Matt Bell was handed his first loss of the season in his 13th start. Bell was charged for four runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Louisiana extended its win streak to six games, tying a season-high, and moved within one win of tying the largest turnaround in the Tony Robichaux era.

Jeff DeBlieux tripled to center field in the game's first at bat and Bud Collura brought him home on a sacrifice fly giving USA the early 1-0 lead.

Kjerstad drew the Cajuns even with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, then later in the inning Seth Harrison scored on a double steal attempt to provide Robichaux a lead he would not relinquish.

Bell surrendered two free passes in the third inning, hitting Kjerstad and issuing a walk to Girouard, and it proved costly. Even more costly would be the offering from Dennis that Adams deposited over the left field wall for a three-run home run that staked the Cajuns to a 5-1 edge.

Robichaux and Dennis traded scoreless frames for the next four innings.

Louisiana's four-spot in the eighth inning featured a RBI double from Kjerstad, two-run single by Conrad and a run that scored on a Jaguars throwing error.

USA picked up an unearned run in the ninth inning, closing out the scoring on a two-out RBI single by Dustin Dalken.

BASES NOTED: The win was the Cajuns 40th of the season marking the first 40-win campaign since 2007…Home runs by Dex Kjerstad and Caleb Adams increased the season total to 69 leaving the Cajuns one shy of 70 for the first time since 2007…Caleb Adams became the first Cajun with 50 RBI since Jordan Poirrier posted 53 in 2011…Adams collected his team-leading 14th multiple-RBI game and seventh game with at least three RBI…Jace Conrad is hitting 9-of-13 his last three games with six runs scored and six RBI…Louisiana reached 1,000 total bases with Tyler Girouard's single in the first inning marking the first year with 1,000-plus total bases since 2005…Austin Robichaux held the opposition to four hits or fewer for the seventh time in 15 starts…Jace Conrad increased his RBI total to 29 joining Ryan Leonards as Cajuns who need just one RBI to give the team all nine starters with 30-plus RBI…The Cajuns 12 base hits marked the 35th game with double digit hits and the win improved the team to 32-3 when reaching double digit hits…The Cajuns currently have a 17-win improvement from last season (went 23-30) and the next win will tie the largest turnaround in the Robichaux era…The largest turnaround in the Robichaux era was 18 from 1996-97 (increased from 25 to 43 wins)…Louisiana is 15-5 in its last 20 games as the postseason stretch run heats up.

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