LAFAYETTE – Kyle DeBarge and Will Veillon fueled a 16-hit attack with three hits apiece and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns scored runs in its last seven innings to claim a 15-3 win over in-state opponent Northwestern State on Wednesday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Jackson Nezuh and three relievers combined to limit Northwestern State (21-17) to seven hits in the game while Louisiana (28-15) recorded its most hits since a season-high 18 on March 25 at South Alabama.
After Louisiana failed to score in the first inning, Conor Higgs led off the second with a double into the left-field corner off Chase Prestwich (4-3) before scoring on Carson Roccaforte’s double to right. Veillon, who went 3-for-4 then hit a double to drive in Roccaforte before Max Marusak lifted an RBI single to left for a 3-0 lead.
Higgs added an RBI double in the third for the Ragin’ Cajuns and scored when Julian Brock hit the next pitch for an RBI single through the right side.
DeBarge, who was 3-for-5 with three RBI, drove in a pair of runs it the fourth with an RBI single for an 8-1 lead before Veillon drove in Roccaforte with an RBI single in the fifth.
Louisiana added three more runs in the sixth to take a 12-1 lead, taking advantage of four walks and an error. DeBarge added an RBI single in the seventh before Mason Zambo lined a two-run single to center in the eighth.
Nezuh (6-3) fanned five batters and allowed one base runner in 2.0 innings for the Ragin’ Cajuns before Steven Cash, Brendan Moody and Ben Tate closed out the game. Prestwich, the first of nine pitchers used by Northwestern State, allowed one run and fanned one in 1.1 innings to suffer the loss.
Gray Rowlett hit an RBI double in the fourth inning for the Demons before Jeffery Elkins hit a solo homer to left in the seventh and Hayden Knotts had a pinch-hit, RBI single in the eighth.
Louisiana will return to Sun Belt Conference play beginning on Friday when it hosts No. 6-ranked Coastal Carolina (26-13, 13-5 SBC) in a three-game series. First pitch for Friday’s opener is 6 p.m.