LAFAYETTE – The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team received a third quality start from their starting pitcher in the ULM series and captured a sweep of the Warhawks with a 3-2 victory here Sunday afternoon at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
LSU-Eunice transfer and New Iberia native Cody Boutte tossed 8 1/3 innings and held ULM to two runs on six hits in his first Sun Belt Conference start. Boutte had held the Warhawks to just four hits until back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth inning.
Blake Trahan homered in the third inning to pull the Cajuns (16-3, 3-0 Sun Belt) even with the Warhawks (8-12, 0-3 Sun Belt) at 1-1. Tyler Girouard singled home Caleb Adams with the go-ahead run later in the inning and in the sixth inning added an insurance run with his second RBI single of the day.
Matt Hicks relieved Boutte after the consecutive singles by ULM with one out in the ninth. He induced three straight ground balls to collect his seventh save of the season.
After a fielding error helped the Warhawks load the bases, Hicks fielded a comebacker from pinch hitter Corben Green for a force out at home plate and on the next at bat fielded a grounder from Chase Compton at first base for the final out.
Boutte's quality start helped the Cajuns offset 14 runners left on base which included stranding the bases loaded three consecutive innings from the third through fifth inning.
Girouard produced two of the Cajuns' three runs with his run scoring singles in the third and sixth inning.
ULM reliever Tyler Bray kept the visitors in the game with 4 2/3 innings of relief in which he struck out seven and prevented the Cajuns from opening a big lead by working out of bases loaded jams in the fourth and fifth inning.
Louisiana picked up its third sweep of the 2013 season and first of ULM since 2010. The Cajuns improved to 14-2 at "The Tigue" and extend their current win streak at the facility to seven games.
The Ragin' Cajuns host Southern in a 6 p.m., midweek game on Tuesday, March 19 at "The Tigue" before spending the next two weekends on the road in SBC play with trips to Middle Tennessee (March 22-24) and WKU (March 29-31).
Boutte and ULM starter Alex Dumaine traded zeros and stranded a runner in each of their first two frames.
ULM scored first once again, as a hit by pitch at the start of the third inning gave the Warhawks a baserunner. A Judd Edwards sacrifice fly followed by Jeff Fuller's single into left field scored Dalton Herrington for a 1-0 lead.
Trahan answered for the Cajuns in the bottom of the third, leading off with his second home run of the season to create a 1-1 tie. Adams doubled on the next at bat and was brought home three batters later when Girouard singled up the middle to give the Cajuns the lead for good at 2-1.
Seth Harrison's bunt single in the sixth inning resulted in an insurance run, as he stole second then scored when Girouard singled into right center field.
Boutte kept the Warhawks in check, allowing only single baserunners in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings and retiring the side in the fifth and eighth inning.
Chris Dudley brought the Warhawks within a run in the seventh when he lifted a high fly ball to the warning track in right field that sailed out of the reach of Harrison and resulted in a triple. Ryan Bergeron sent a line drive to Harrison for a sacrifice fly that trimmed the UL lead to 3-2.
BASES NOTED: All three Cajuns starting pitchers worked seven-plus innings in the series as Boutte's effort backed up Ryan Wilson's complete game on Friday and Austin Robichaux's 7 2/3 innings outing on Saturday…Matt Hicks was the lone reliever that Tony Robichaux needed in the series…Hicks added his second save of the weekend series and upped his season total to seven…Hicks' seven saves are the most by a Cajuns pitcher since Justin Robichaux posted nine in 2008…Hicks collected career save No. 11 which has him one off the school career record 12 set by Kraig Schambough (2002-05) and tied by Justin Robichaux (2007-10) with the remainder of 2013 plus his senior season left to play…Seth Harrison stretched his current hitting streak to 11 games, the longest hit streak since Mike Pettello's 14-game streak in 2011…Both Harrison and Blake Trahan finished 2-for-3 at the plate to notch their team-leading sixth multiple-hit game of the season…Chase Compton singled in his lone official at bat, and is now hitting .500 (11-of-22) since the opener of the Sacred Heart series…Cody Boutte collected his 20th career victory as a collegiate pitcher (posted 16 wins in combined stints at LSU-Shreveport and LSU-Eunice)…Cajuns pitching limited ULM hitters to a .208 average and just 20 hits over 27 innings in the series…Nearly a third of the Cajuns hits in the series went for extra bases with nine of the team's 30 hits being of the extra-hit variety (four doubles, five home runs)…The Cajuns defense performed well, committing only three errors and all three being throwing errors after a runner had reached base…Louisiana improved to 15-12 in Sun Belt series with ULM dating back to when the Warhawks joined the SBC in 2007…The Cajuns swept ULM for the third time in the SBC era (2007 and 2010) and stretched their all-time series lead to 69-52…Total attendance for the weekend series was 7,038 (2,346 avg.) which marked a season-high…After five weeks of play the Cajuns run differential is +51, outscoring foes 129-78…Louisiana played its fourth game decided by one run and remained perfect in that situation (4-0)…Cajuns pitching held the opposition to two runs or less for the eighth time (8-0) and five runs or fewer for the 13th time (13-0).