LAFAYETTE – Troy spotted starting pitcher Shane McCain four runs in the first at bat and he made it stand with a complete game 10-4 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team here Sunday afternoon at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
The Trojans (21-9, 7-5 Sun Belt) never trailed and scored three runs off of Cajuns reliever Matt Hicks in the seventh inning after Louisiana (22-9, 6-6 Sun Belt) had cut the lead to 5-4 following Dex Kjerstad's second home run of the day.
That provided ample cushion of McCain who retired nine of the final 12 batters he faced in wrapping up the victory which helped Troy avoid a three-game sweep.
Louisiana had its 11-game home win streak snapped. It was just the third home defeat for the Cajuns in 21 games at "The Tigue" in 2013.
A pair of midweek games is on the docket for UL next week. The Cajuns welcome Tulane for a 6:05 p.m., contest at "The Tigue" on Tuesday, April 9, then travel north on Interstate 49 to face Northwestern State on Wednesday, April 10 for a 6:30 p.m. contest in Natchitoches, La.
Louisiana is on the road for its next Sun Belt series traveling to Little Rock, Ark., to meet UALR at Gary Hogan Field Friday-Sunday, April 12-14.
The Cajuns-Trojans finale featured a combined 30 base hits. Troy had five players collect multiple hits, Louisiana had four.
Kjerstad became the second Cajun to homer twice in a game in the series (Seth Harrison on Saturday) and the result was a season-high four RBI for the former Texas Longhorn and Howard College transfer.
Cody Boutte was dealt his first home defeat as a Cajun, allowing five of the Trojans runs on 10 hits over six innings.
McCain surrendered 14 base hits, but was able to strand 11 Cajuns baserunners and record numerous fly ball outs to preserve the lead.
The Trojans set the tone for the afternoon by beginning the game with six consecutive base hits which resulted in four runs.
Louisiana came within inches of tying the game in the bottom of the first, but a towering fly ball off the bat of Dylan Butler with the bases loaded was caught at the warning track.
Kjerstad's first home run of the game came in the second inning and cut the Cajuns deficit in half. The Trojans were able to get one of the runs back in the top of the third on a Jakob Nixon RBI single.
The score remained 5-2 until Kjerstad's second home run off of McCain pulled Louisiana within a run at 5-4 in the sixth inning.
The game got away from the Cajuns in the seventh inning as the first two batters to face Matt Hicks reached base on an infield single and walk. Two batters later the bases were loaded off the Trojans' second hit of the frame, then Matt Howard doubled over the reach of Caleb Adams in left field to score two runs and up the lead to 7-4.
Josh McDorman followed with an RBI single up the middle and the Trojans had regained the four-run edge they started the game with.
McCain settled in getting three fly outs in the seventh and retiring the Cajuns in order in the eighth while his offense plated single runs in their final two at bats for the final margin.
BASES NOTED: Cody Boutte held Troy to one run and four hits over his final five innings of work after falling behind 4-0 on six hits in the first inning…Shane McCain forced the Cajuns into 17 fly ball outs…Dex Kjerstad went 3-for-5 at the plate collecting his team-leading 12th multiple-hit game of the season…Louisiana posted double figure hits each game of the series and finished with 40 hits over three games (13.3 hits per game)…Dating back to the Southeastern Louisiana game on March 26 the Cajuns have produced double figure hits in seven of the last eight games…The Cajuns hit .351 in the series while the Trojans hit .302…Louisiana exited the series taking the Sun Belt Conference lead in batting average over the Trojans at .311 to .309…Both teams posted 14 extra base hits and both slugged above .500 during the weekend…Kjerstad joins Caleb Adams (three vs. Sacred Heart on March 2) and Seth Harrison (two vs. Troy on April 6) as Cajuns who have multi-home run games in 2013…Ryan Leonards' average continues to climb as his team-best .571 average during the series raised his season batting average to .395…Leonards is hitting .565 (13-of-23) since the Saturday doubleheader of the WKU series…Matt Hicks was charged with three runs in his inning of work and has now allowed six runs over his last two Sun Belt Conference appearances…Kendall Mayer notched four strikeouts in his two innings of work increasing his season total to 13 in just eight innings...Seth Harrison and Ryan Leonards extended their current hitting streaks to eight games, the longest active streaks on the Cajuns squad to date…Harrison needs to hit safely in the next two games to reach a double digit hit streak for the second time this season (had 12 game streak Feb. 22-March 19)…Harrison has posted a base hit in all but four of his 26 games played…Louisiana's all-time series lead over Troy is 20-12 (15-9 in SBC regular season games)…The Cajuns are seven wins shy of 400 home wins in the Tony Robichaux era with 11 games remaining in the regular season plus the Sun Belt Tournament…The 11th crowd of 2,000-plus watched the series finale as 2,224 was the announced attendance…The three-game series attendance was 6,696 (2,232 average).
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