Contact: Matt Hebert
BATON ROUGE - Less than five hours after starting an elimination game against Sam Houston State, Cody Boutte took the mound for his second start of the day in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Championship game against LSU here Sunday evening at Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field.
He held the Tigers (55-9) to just one run over the first five innings to give Louisiana (43-20) a chance to force the regional's "if necessary" game.
LSU, though, would register three runs in the sixth inning to give their bullpen breathing room in a 5-1 victory that secured the regional title for the Tigers.
The loss ended the Cajuns' 2013 season, one in which the squad finished third in the Sun Belt Conference regular season standings, and runner-up in the Sun Belt Tournament. The Cajuns finished with a 20-win improvement from 2012 (went from 23 wins in 2012 to 43 in 2013) ending with the largest turnaround in the Tony Robichuax era.
Caleb Adams singled in his first two at bats to pick up his second multiple-hit game of the day. Adams was 2-for-4 with two home runs in the game's earlier day with Sam Houston State.
Jace Conrad doubled home Dex Kjerstad in the sixth inning for the Cajuns lone tally of the contest. It was Conrad's sixth RBI of the Baton Rouge Regional, tops amongst all Cajuns hitters.
Boutte made his second start of the day after tossing 1 2/3 innings before being pulled in the afternoon elimination game.
Boutte kept the game scoreless for the first four innings before getting into trouble in the fifth inning with a base hit and three walks, the third walk bringing in an LSU run.
Boutte tossed 4.2 innings in game two, allowing four hits, walking five and striking out one. He finished the day throwing a combined 6.1 innings, and 133 pitches.
Cord Cockrell relieved Boutte with two outs in the fifth inning and the bases loaded. Cockrell retired the first batter he faced getting the Cajuns out of the jam with just a 1-0 deficit after five complete innings.
Cockrell retired the first batter he faced in the sixth with a groundout, but three straight singles from the Tigers, including an RBI single by Alex Bregman, put the hosts up 2-0.
Kendall Mayer picked up two strikeouts after relieving Cockrell, but allowed a two-run single to Raph Rhymes between them, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Conrad broke the shutout in the bottom half of the sixth with his RBI double.
The Cajuns went back to the bullpen in the seventh inning, bringing in Ben Carter. Carter tossed a perfect seventh, getting a pop up, lineout and a fly out.
Carter retired the first two LSU batters in his second inning of work with a strikeout and a fly out, before Bregman struck again for the Tigers, this time on his own with a solo-home run to left field to make it 5-1.
Ben Frith would be the final pitcher to come in the game for the Cajuns, getting the final two outs of the ninth, to keep the Cajuns deficit at 5-1 heading into their final at-bat.
LSU closer Chris Cotton retired the Cajuns in order and sent the Tigers to the NCAA Super Regionals.
BASES NOTED: Two Cajuns were named to the All-Regional team, third baseman Tyler Girouard and outfielder/designated hitter Caleb Adams were selected for the honor…Dex Kjerstad's attempt to become only the second player in school history to reach 100 base hits was spoiled again as LSU pitching held him to a 0-for-4 showing…Earlier in the day, Kjerstad went 0-for-4 in the elimination game vs. Sam Houston State…Dex Kjerstad ended the season with 99 base hits marking the second-most in school history, trailing only record holder Nathan Nelson who established the mark with 101 in 2000…Caleb Adams was the lone Cajun to hit a home run in the Baton Rouge Regional…Louisiana entered the Baton Rouge Regional with a nation's best 72 home runs, but was held to just two over four contests…The Ragin' Cajuns final home run tally for 2013 was 74 which is tops in the NCAA Division I ranks…It's the most home runs for Louisiana since posting 76 in 2007…This season's tally of 74 marks the fourth-most home runs in a single season (83 in 2000; 78 in 2004; 76 in 2007; 74 in 2013; 73 in 1991)…Senior pitchers Kendall Mayer and Ben Frith each made their final appearance in a Cajuns uniform…Frith and Mayer were the lone seniors on the Cajuns' 2013 squad…Jace Conrad posted 20 RBI after May 1, second-most on the squad trailing only 23 RBI from Caleb Adams…Caleb Adams finished the 2013 season with 16 home runs which ranks tied for fifth (5th) in a single season with Jefferies Tatford (2007)…Louisiana and LSU met in a NCAA Regional contest for the first time since the 2002 Regional at the old Alex Box Stadium…LSU increased its NCAA Regional round record vs. the Ragin' Cajuns to 6-1…The Ragin' Cajuns finished with a Baton Rouge Regional record of 2-2…Louisiana concluded its 13th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Championship…The Cajuns all-time NCAA Championship record is now 22-27, which includes a 17-22 mark in the regional round.