LAFAYETTE, La. (ragincajuns.com) – The 14th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back as the Cajuns surged past second-seeded Arizona 10-3 on Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field to advance to the Lafayette Regional championship game.
The Cajuns (43-19) have won 12 straight contests this season and nine straight in NCAA regional play. Louisiana has advanced to a NCAA regional championship game for the fourth straight year, and the eighth time all-time under head coachTony Robichaux.
“When we started this, our biggest goal was to try to match up Gunner (Leger) in game two. We didn’t know early on who we would play, but we felt that both of them matched up good for him,” Robichaux said. “He kept their leadoff guys off of the bases and kept a real good action team down. That’s what he is best at, slowing the game down. He did a great job against them, especially as hot as it was.
“Our hitters also did a great job of getting on the board early and getting some timely hitting. We were able to play good defense, get good pitching and timely hitting. I’m proud of this team. They will get some rest tonight and be ready to go tomorrow.”
Leger (7-3) picked up his seventh win of the season in the game to move into a tie for the team lead in wins with freshman Nick Lee. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work.
Junior Jevin Huval was exceptional in relief tossing four scoreless innings to earn his third save of the year. Huval struck out six and allowed three walks and two hits in the outing.
J.C. Cloney (6-4) was handed his fourth loss of the year in the game after giving up six runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings.
Louisiana jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Trosclair gave the Cajuns a 1-0 lead on an RBI single to right center. In the next at-bat,Brenn Conrad brought home Clement on a sacrifice bunt to extend the lead to 2-0.Alex Pinero capped the scoring in the inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns scoring Trosclair on a sac fly to right field to make the score 3-0.
Trosclair added to the Cajuns advantage in the bottom of the third on a solo blast to left field. The home run is the seventh of the year for Trosclair.
Arizona got on the board in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI double down the left field line by J.J. Matijevic to cut the Louisiana lead to 4-1.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got the run back and more in the bottom half of the fourth scoring three runs on four hits to take a 7-1 edge. Robbins singled home the first run of the inning driving the first pitch he saw from Cloney through the right side of the infield. After a Clement RBI groundout gave Louisiana a five-run lead, Conrad singled home Clement to make the score 7-1.
The Wildcats pulled within four runs in the top of the fifth on a two-run homer to right field by Cody Ramer.
Brian Mills got the two runs back in the bottom half of the fifth bringing home Pinero and Antchak on a two-run sac bunt to extend the Cajuns advantage to 9-3. Pinero led off the inning with a single to left center and then moved to third on a Thurman sac bunt and an Antchak bunt single.
Trosclair brought home the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth driving in Clement on a sac fly to left field. Clement led off the inning with his second triple of the year.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will face the winner of the Sam Houston State/Arizona elimination game at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Lafayette Regional championship game at The Tigue. The Cajuns would have to win just one game to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the third straight season. Louisiana has yet to announce a starter for the contest.
Fans can catch the game live on ESPN3.com with Brett Dolan and Tom Holliday making the call. The contest will also be broadcast live on ESPN 1420-AM with Jay Walker providing the play-by-play. Should Louisiana need to play an if necessary game, fans can catch the game on News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM.
For updates and info on Ragin’ Cajuns baseball, follow the team on twitter @CajunsBaseball or check RaginCajuns.com.