CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Matt Sullivan-UL ) – Porter Brown’s two-out single capped a two-run sixth inning and All-American Lucas Gordon scattered five hits and struck out eight as No. 15-ranked Texas defeated Louisiana, 4-2, in the opening game of the NCAA Coral Gables Regional on Friday at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

Louisiana (40-23) will face either Miami or Maine in an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with fans able to listen to the game in the Lafayette area on KPEL-FM (96.5) or worldwide on the Varsity Network app.

Gordon (7-1), the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, pitched 7.0 innings for Texas (39-20) and was aided by a pair of stellar defensive plays which prevented four potential runs by the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Louisiana put runners on the corners in a scoreless fourth inning when Carson Roccaforte singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on Conor Higgs’ single through the right side with one out.

After Gordon got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, centerfielder Eric Kennedy would make a leaping grab of John Taylor’s potential home run.

Louisiana would break the ice in the sixth after Gordon retired the first two batters, including Dylan Campbell’s diving grab in right field to rob Roccaforte of extra bases. Heath Hood would reach on a two-out doubles before Higgs lined a single to left field to drive in Hood and give Louisiana a 1-0 lead.

Texas would take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning beginning when Mitchell Daly hit an 0-and-2 fastball from Louisiana starter Jackson Nezuh (9-6) to lead off the inning. After a walk to Jared Thomas, Campbell would extend his hit streak to a Big 12-record 36 games with a one-out single to left before Brown’s two-out single through the right side scored Thomas for the go-ahead run.

The Longhorns added two more runs in the seventh as Campbell hit a two-out double to left to drive in Daly and Thomas.

Zane Morehouse pitched the final 2.0 innings for Texas to earn the save. The right-hander gave up a solo home run to Roccaforte in the eighth inning and got out a jam after Hood reached on a single by getting Higgs to ground into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.

Nezuh struck out five batters and allowed four hits for Louisiana before being relieved by Blake Marshall in the sixth. Cooper Rawls and JT Etheridge pitched the final 2.0 innings for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Roccaforte, Hood and Higgs led Louisiana at the plate with two hits each. Kyle DeBarge added a first-inning single for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

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Texas Head Coach David Pierce
Opening statement…
“They’re a good team. That team did a great job in the [conference] tournament. They came in hot. They do some things where they create. I just thought we did a fine job of attacking the strike zone from Gordo [Lucas Gordon], who goes out every single week and gives us a shot. He puts his team in a position to win. It was just an exceptional job by Zane [Morehouse]. If you look at Zane, he’s had a little bit of ups and downs this year, but for him to go in there and compete the way he did when we needed him was pretty special. Big hit by Mitch [Mitchell Daly] to kind of even it up and answer back. Then we put on a two-spot there and tack on.  Couple of incredible catches by these two guys [Dylan Campbell, Eric Kennedy], solid defense, timely hitting and excellent pitching all day. We’re excited that we got Game 1.”

Texas outfielder Dylan Campbell
On his full-extension diving catch…
“It was hit pretty hard off the bat and I kind of felt like I got a late read. I just kind of hauled to it and didn’t think I could get there standing up, so I just had to lay out for it. I’m happy to get it.”

Texas starting pitcher Lucas Gordon
On what was working for him against Louisiana…
“I think the main thing for the success today was getting the inside part of the plate going early. I think some thing we noticed was guys kind of sell out for the fastball and outside changeup and kind of give up the inside of the plate, so getting that early kind of, showing that I could throw inside was a key today.”

Texas outfielder Eric Kennedy…
On his home-run robbing catch in center field…
“After the first game at West Virginia, we made an adjustment playing a step or two deeper. Off the bat I didn’t think it was gone, but I just kept going back and noticed I was right against the wall. I just jumped up. It wasn’t too hard. It was just a routine jump-up. It’s easy playing defense behind this guy. He fills it up. He has a great pace. We’re going to do everything we can to make plays for him.”

Louisiana Head Coach Matt Deggs
Opening statement…
“I thought it was a great ballgame. The [Lucas] Gordon kid is a handful. He can really pitch. There’s a reason he’s the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and that’s because he can really locate a fastball, he’s got a really good changeup [and he] competes well. I thought we did a pretty good job. Obviously, they made a huge play there, robbing a three-run home run. I thought we did a pretty good job, though, with our approach. He’s just a tough one to get to, but Jackson [Nezuh] matched him pitch for pitch. You take a lead and the pitch count’s low, just kind of hang a fastball there to [Mitchell] Daly in the nine-hole on a 0-2 count, he ties it up. And then, just kind of stuck with the game plan, went to ‘Marsh’ [Blake Marshall]. I thought he did a nice job for us there. They’re able to take the lead back, two to one. And then we come back with a two-out walk. ‘Coop’ [Cooper Rawls] is rolling and we get a two-out walk and they’re able to tack on a couple more. We get to JT [Etheridge]—I was wanting to get to JT with a lead—and he did a good job of holding it right there. Carson [Roccaforte] runs a ball out of there and the next thing you know, it’s a 4-2 game and we got a shot … and Hoody [Heath Hood] follows that up with a knock up the middle and Higgy [Conor Higgs] comes off a change. It’s one of those games where Texas is really good. They’re talented, they play well. I thought it was a good game, well defended, well pitched. They just came up with a couple more big hits. They made two nice plays in the outfield.”

Louisiana starting pitcher Jackson Nezuh
On his game plan and what worked against Texas…
“It was really just to attack, keep my pitch count down. You never know, we might be in a situation where I might be able to come back. And so, just keeping that pitch count down, attacking with the fastball, that was really the game plan.”

Louisiana Carson Roccaforte
On Texas starter Lucas Gordon…
“He’s a good pitcher and they followed that up with great defense. It’s hard to get going against a guy like that. But Jackson [Nezuh] got us off to a good start, as well. So, it was a battle. He was the [Big 12] Pitcher of the Year for a reason, but just didn’t get going quick enough.”