MONROE – A nine-run third inning carried the Ragin' Cajuns baseball team to a 12-1 victory over ULM in seven innings here Saturday evening at Warhawk Field completing the weekend and season series sweep of the Warhawks.
Chase Compton posted two triples and led the charge for Louisiana (38-17, 19-11 Sun Belt) with four RBI one night after his grand slam broke a tie and gave the Cajuns the series victory.
The Ragin' Cajuns collected their second sweep of the Warhawks (18-36, 7-23 Sun Belt) and fifth overall in 2013.
Louisiana returns to action on Wednesday, May 22 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in a 7:30 p.m. contest at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. The Cajuns will be the No. 2 seed and face UALR if South Alabama defeats Troy or the No. 3 seed and face FIU if Troy defeats South Alabama.
The Cajuns wasted little time in putting the game out of reach, scoring in each of their first four at bats.
Jace Conrad singled, stole second, and moved up to third on a wild pitch then scored on a Harrison sacrifice fly in the first inning as the Cajuns took a 1-0. Louisiana added to the lead in the next at bat when Compton tripled to score Michael Strentz who reached on a two-out single.
Conrad, Seth Harrison and Tyler Girouard singled in succession to open the third inning resulting in the Cajuns' third run. ULM starting pitcher Shelby Aulds then struggled to find his control as back-to-back hit by pitch and a four-pitch walk forced home two more runs increasing the UL lead to 5-0.
Compton greeted reliever Tyler Bray with a triple deep into the right center field gap clearing the bases for an 8-0 edge. Louisiana would add three more runs before Bray could close out the inning and the lead swelled to 11-0.
The Cajuns final run came on a Strentz sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
Alex Dumaine recorded the final out of the Cajuns fourth inning and swapped scoreless frames with Ryan Wilson in the fifth inning.
The Warhawks loaded the bases off Wilson with one out in the sixth inning. Matt Plitt got the Cajuns out of the jam allowing just one run that came in on a Justin Stawychny infield single.
Plitt denied the Warhawks the chance of continuing the contest by tossing a scoreless frame during his first full inning of relief in the seventh inning.
Wilson got the start and worked past his scheduled load of three to four innings as he carried just 52 pitches into the fifth inning. He limited ULM to just two hits over his first five innings.
Aulds was saddled with the loss for the Warhawks as eight runs were charged to him in 2 1 /3 innings of work.
Dex Kjerstad extended his season-best hitting streak to nine games. Conrad collected his third three-hit game and Compton reached four RBI for the second straight game.
The Ragin' Cajuns became the first program in the ULM rivalry to sweep all six meetings in a season since the Sun Belt Conference paired geographic rivals for home-and-home series in league play in 2011.
BASES NOTED: The Cajuns posted a run-rule victory on getaway day for the fourth time in the past five weekend series…Louisiana collected its 33rd game with double digit hits and improved to 30-3 when doing so…The Cajuns remained undefeated (15-0) when scoring 10-plus runs…The nine-run third inning marked the 20th time that UL plated at least five runs in a single inning…Seth Harrison posted his 21st multiple-hit game, trailing on 26 multi-hit games by Dex Kjerstad…The two triples were the first of the season by Chase Compton…Louisiana outscored ULM 47-15 in the season series and out-hit the Warhawks 71-40…Chase Compton led all Cajuns with 11 RBI in the season series with ULM…The victory extended the Cajuns current win streak to four games giving the squad its fifth win streak of at least four games in 2013…The Cajuns will enter postseason play just two wins shy of reaching 40 victories for the first time since 2007 (45-17).