LAFAYETTE – A day after his father collected win No. 900, sophomore pitcher Austin Robichaux pitched six strong innings to guide the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team to a 2-1 victory that completed a weekend series sweep of UTSA at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Robichaux scattered four hits and allowed only one hit when UTSA had runners on base in his six innings of work. In the fourth and fifth inning he shut down the Roadrunners after the leadoff hitter reached base and then promptly sat the visitors down in order in his final inning of work.
Seth Harrison led off the Cajuns half of the third inning with a double and later scored the winning run on a Chase Compton grounder. Harrison scored both of Louisiana's runs.
Ryan Wilson threw 2 2/3 innings of hitless baseball to set up Matt Hicks for the save. Hicks, who came in with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth, needed just two pitches to notch his third save of the season.
The Cajuns (7-1) extended their win streak to four games, a stretch that began with a midweek win over Northwestern State on Wednesday. Louisiana improved to 9-0 all-time in weekend series against UTSA (5-3), sweeping a set for the third time.
Louisiana begins the final stretch of its season-opening, 14-game homestand on Tuesday when the squad meets LSU in front of a sellout crowd at "The Tigue". First pitch against the Tigers, who visit Lafayette for the first time since March 2002, is set for 6 p.m.
The Cajuns never fell behind, scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Harrison was hit by a pitch from UTSA starter Clint Sharp, stole second and scored when Michael Strentz singled into center field.
UTSA drew even in the second inning benefitting from a two-out double by Rodney Garza that scored Horacio Gorrea III who drew a two-out walk from Robichaux.
Harrison's leadoff double in the third inning was a shallow blooper down the right field line. Strentz lifted a fly ball to the warning track in right center to allow Harrison to move to third base. Compton followed with a grounder to second base to plate Harrison for a 2-1 lead.
The scoring stopped there as pitching ruled the rest of the day in a series that saw a combined 39 runs in the first two games.
Robichaux induced a double play ball to erase a leadoff single by John Bormann in the fourth inning and notched back-to-back strikeouts in the fifth inning after the Roadrunners had two on base with no outs after a pair of hit batsman.
Sharp, who took the hard-luck loss, limited the Cajuns offense to just six hits in his 6 2/3 innings. He kept UTSA in the game by retiring nine of the 11 Cajuns he faced from the fourth through sixth inning.
Ryan Leonards reached on a fielding error and Harrison singled up the middle for UL in the seventh inning as the hosts attempted to add insurance runs. Wesley Cox, who tossed 2 1/3 innings of relief and allowed just one earned run on Saturday, retired Strentz to end the threat and retired the Cajuns in order in the bottom of the eighth.
UTSA had runners on first and third base in the ninth inning after John Welborn took the first offering from Hicks and drove it to left field. Another first pitch swing came on Hicks' next offering, but this time it was a harmless grounder to Compton who stepped on the first base bag to record the series' final out.
BASES NOTED: Louisiana upped its all-time series advantage over UTSA to 11-3 with the sweep and remained perfect at "The Tigue" (8-0)…The Cajuns 7-1 start to the season is the best through eight games since starting 8-0 in 2007...Austin Robichaux turned in the first quality start by a Cajuns pitcher this season, allowing only one earned run in six innings…Dating back to his final start of the 2012 season (three-hit shutout at Middle Tennessee), Robichaux has held the opposition to four hits or less in his last three weekend series starts…It was Robichaux's first weekend series victory at "The Tigue"…Michael Strentz posted an RBI for the fourth straight game, upping his season, team-leading total to 12…Seth Harrison ended the UTSA series 7-for-10 at the plate with a team-high seven runs scored….Harrison's on-base percentage in the series was .786 as he finished the series reaching base in his last nine plate appearances…As a team, Louisiana finished with a .366 average in the series with eight different hitters collecting multiple hits…Seth Harrison's seven hits topped the squad and the trio of Michael Strentz, Blake Trahan and Des Kjerstad each had five hits…Jace Conrad singled in the sixth inning to keep his reached base streak alive at eight games…Ryan Wilson, who started the series finale against Central Michigan, made his first relief appearance as a Cajun starting the seventh inning and working until two outs in the ninth inning…Matt Hicks has now made four appearances this young season and already has three saves to his credit…With the weekend series total attendance of 5,975 the season total attendance rose above 10,000 after the first two weeks (actual is 13,988)...Now one of 22 active Division I head coaches with 900 career victories, Tony Robichaux upped his career record to 901-617-1 with Sunday's triump (638 of those wins have come at UL).