May 3, 2019 | by Charlie Long
Inconsistency Plagues Louisiana Baseball

Early deficits doomed the Louisiana baseball team in their home weekend series against the Texas State Bobcats.

After a four-game losing streak and sweep at the hands of The University of Texas at Arlington, the Ragin’ Cajuns were hoping to bounce back at home against a tough Texas State team. The first game of the series was not the start they were hoping for.

The Bobcats started the scoring with an RBI-double in the second inning, but the fifth inning was when Texas State put the game away.

A nine-run fifth inning highlighted by seven hits, including a three-run home run, gave the Bobcats a 10-0 lead that seemed too much to overcome, but the Louisiana offense came alive to answer the big inning by the Texas State bats.

The Ragin’ Cajuns cut the lead to 10-3 on two straight RBI doubles by shortstop Hayden Cantrelle and center fielder Brennan Breaux. They loaded the bases with one out, looking to do even more damage, but two straight outs kept the deficit at seven runs, and Louisiana left the bases loaded.

After a scoreless top of the sixth, the Louisiana offense used a two-out rally to load the bases again. This time, designated hitter Todd Lott came up with the clutch two-out, two-run RBI single to cut the lead to 10-5, but a strikeout ended the rally for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

The Louisiana offense stayed hot in the seventh inning and cut the lead to 10-9 with their third consecutive multi-run inning. However, they left the bases loaded for the second time, and their huge comeback bid fell short again. Leaving eight players on base in those three innings hurt the Ragin’ Cajuns’ chances of winning their second series opener all season.

After the Louisiana bats cooled off in the eighth inning, Texas State finally answered with a three-run inning in the top of the ninth, stretching their lead to 13-9 and diminishing the hopes of a comeback.

Down to their final three outs, the Ragin’ Cajuns started the bottom of the ninth with two straight walks, but a double play and strikeout ended game one with a 13-9 loss. Louisiana fell to 1-10 on series openers in 2019.

Five of the six pitchers gave up at least one earned run for Louisiana in game one. They were out-hit 14-12 in the opener.

For the second straight game, Texas State started the scoring in the second inning. This time, four hits in the half inning scored two runs for the Bobcats, and the Ragin’ Cajuns went into the bottom of the second in a 2-0 hole.

Four straight hits to lead off the bottom of the second inning tied the game up for Louisiana. Right fielder Orynn Veillon’s triple and catcher Handsome Monica’s single brought the two runs in, but the Ragin’ Cajuns left two players in scoring position and settled for a tie game.

In the top of the fourth inning, Texas State used a leadoff double, wild pitch and balk to take a 3-2 lead.

The Louisiana pitching was great after that, but the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offense only managed to get three hits in the final seven innings after their big second inning. The Bobcats kept their lead by keeping Louisiana scoreless and went onto win game two 3-2 on that fourth inning balk.

The Ragin’ Cajuns starting pitcher Jack Burk went six innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs but picked up the loss. Austin Perrin gave up only one hit in three innings of relief for Louisiana, but Texas State’s starting pitcher threw a complete game, striking out 11 Ragin’ Cajuns batters and only giving up two runs on seven hits.

Similar to game one, a comeback bid in game three came up just short for Louisiana.

Falling down 5-0 in the first inning after giving up four consecutive walks in the first frame, the Ragin’ Cajuns found themselves in another early hole.

Senior Daniel Lahare cut the Bobcats lead to 5-2 in the bottom half of the first with a two-out two-run RBI-single.

The first home run of the season by third baseman O’Neal Lochridge in the second inning and an RBI-groundout by Lahare in the third inning put Louisiana within one run going into the fourth.

Texas State used two, two-run innings in the fourth and sixth to regain a five-run lead, giving them a 9-4 lead late in the game, but the Ragin’ Cajuns offense had one last push in them.

Four consecutive singles to start the bottom of the seventh lead to a run and loaded the bases with no outs for Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored three more runs in the inning, but a strikeout with the bases loaded kept them within one run of the lead, ending the seventh down 9-8.

Texas State put on an insurance run in the top of the eighth to make it 10-8 and Louisiana could not get a hit in the final two innings as the comeback bid fell short again.

Jacob Schultz was the best pitcher for Louisiana, giving up only one run on two hits in the four innings he pitched in relief. The Ragin’ Cajuns out-hit the Bobcats 13-7, but the number of free bases Louisiana pitching gave up was their ultimate downfall in the final game. The staff gave up 10 walks and hit three batters in the final game of the series and the free bases allowed the Bobcats to make the most out of their hits.

“They play hard, they work hard, and they care,” Louisiana Head Coach Tony Robichaux said. “It’s just we’re not doing the things they need to do to be a good baseball team, and that’s to stop the walks and the hit batters. The hitters have to fight to get back in, and then we always get close but we can’t grab them.”

Robichaux added they’ve been an inconsistent team.

“Some nights we pitch but then we don’t hit the night we pitch. Sometimes we don’t pitch but then we hit. The only thing you can’t do is quit. That’s the thing about these guys is that they haven’t quit.”

The sweep dropped the Ragin’ Cajuns to 8-13 in Sun Belt Conference play and 20-27 overall, and their losing streak increased to seven games.

The seven-game losing streak is the team’s longest since 2012 when they had an eight-game losing streak.

You can listen to Robichaux discuss the team’s pitching struggles here.

How far will Louisiana go in the Sun Belt Tournament? Vote here.

Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *

Theme by Theme Flames, powered by Wordpress.