Conway, S.C. – Coastal Carolina baseball hit two home runs and scored seven runs on eight hits, yet fell to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 9-7 in a back-and-forth contest on Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.
The home-standing Chanticleers had seven different players register a hit on the day led once again by designated hitter Jake Wright (2-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, RBI, 3 runs) who had a team-high two base hits. First baseman Zach Biermann (1-for-5, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs, while outfielder Cameron Pearcey (1-for-5, HR, RBI, run) had a solo home run in the loss.
Louisiana’s offense was led by the top of the order, as the 1-5 hitters combined to go 12-for-28 (.429) with six RBIs and seven runs scored. The Cajuns were led by Hunter Kasuls (4-for-5, HBP, RBI, 3 runs), Todd Lott (3-for-6, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) and Orynn Veillon (2-for-6, 2B, RBI), who all had multiple hits in the win.
The loss fell to reliever Jay Causey (0-1) who allowed two runs on two hits, three walks and two strikeouts over 2.1 innings out of the bullpen, after relieving starter Matt Eardensohn (4.2 IP, 8 hits, 5 ER, BB, 4 K) with two men on in the top of the fifth.
Ragin’ Cajun Jacob Schultz (2-2) earned the win out of the bullpen, surrendering two runs on three hits, four walks and three punch-outs over 5.0-complete innings.
The save went to Grant Cox (1) as the lefty closed out the game throwing the final 1.1 innings in the win.
Louisiana continued its hot hitting from Friday night in the top of the first inning, as the Ragin’ Cajuns loaded the bases on a single, a CCU error and another base hit to left field with one out. However, a heads up play on a fielder’s choice in which the Chants got the lead runner at home and a fly out to left field got the Chants out of the inning without any damage done.
After the Chants stranded a runner on base in both the bottom of the first and second innings, the Cajun’s led off the top of the third with back-to-back singles and a three-run home run to left field from Loft to take a 3-0 lead midway through the third inning.
Coastal got the three runs back and more in the bottom half of the inning all with two outs as a solo shot down the left field line by Pearcey got the scoring going for the men in teal. It was his fourth home run of the season.
The home run seemed to rattle Louisiana starting pitcher Brandon Young (2.2 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, K) walked the next two batters, then hit the next two Chant hitters on back-to-back pitches with the second one scoring a runner from third to put the home team down one at 3-2.
With the bases still loaded, Biermann laced a single up the middle to plate two more runs and put the Chanticleers on top for the first time of the game at 4-3.
Two innings later, the Ragin’ Cajuns scored two runs on a two-out RBI single to center field by Brennan Breaux to give the visitors the lead back at 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one swing of the bat, Wright tied the game up with a solo home run to left center field, his seventh of the year, to send the game into the sixth tied at 5-5.
The back-and-forth scoring continued in the top half of the sixth as Louisiana retook the lead on an RBI double from Veillon and a wild pitch that allowed a runner to come across from third to put the visitors in red back on top at 7-5.
The Chants cut the lead back to one with a little help from the Ragin’ Cajuns in the bottom of the eighth, as two walks, a ground out and a wild pitch allowed Scott McKeon to race home from third and put the score at 7-6 in favor of Louisiana.
However, Louisiana took advantage of a CCU throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the top of the ninth to follow with back-to-back RBI singles to push its lead to three at 9-6 heading into the Chants’ final at-bat.
CCU brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth on a Wright single and a Louisiana error but saw a 4-6-3 double-play halt the scoring threat and put the Chants down to their last out.
Pinch hitter Morgan Hyde hit an RBI single up the middle to score Wright, cut the Ragin’ Cajuns lead to two at 9-7 and kept the Chants’ hopes alive before a strikeout ended the game.
Louisiana left 13 runners on base, while the Chants stranded nine base runners.
Coastal (26-20-1, 11-11 Sun Belt) and Louisiana (22-27, 10-13 Sun Belt) will play the final game of the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.