LAFAYETTE, La. (3/18/23) – Arkansas State’s baseball team got off to a strong start against Louisiana Saturday afternoon, but the Ragin’ Cajuns plated 13 of the game’s final 14 runs to take a series-clinching 13-5 decision at M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park.
A-State (7-10, 0-2 SBC) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and played error-free defense, but the Ragin’ Cajuns (13-6, 2-0) scored 13 unanswered runs – 10 on four homers – to take the win.
Blake Burris went 3-for-5 with two doubles to lead A-State at the plate. Seven other players combined to give the Scarlet and Black 10 hits on the afternoon, with Hunter Thomas breaking Louisiana’s 13-0 scoring run with a leadoff home run in the ninth. Six of the Red Wolves’ 10 hits were for extra bases, including five doubles.
Louisiana pounded out 16 hits, led by Kyle DeBarge’s 3-for-5 day with two runs scored. Four players – Julian Brock and Max Marusak, along with pinch-hitters Landrey Wilkerson and Conor Higgs – went deep to bolster the Cajuns attack.
A-State batted around in the top of the third to plate three runs. Burris doubled home Grier for the game’s first run. He and Brandon Hager came around to score on a two-run double by Darcy to make it 3-0, and then Darcy scored when Hoskyn reached on an error to chase Louisiana starter Brendan Moody.
Starting pitcher Hunter Draper (0-2) faced the minimum through his first two frames before the Cajuns sent all nine to the plate in a game-tying four-run frame. Louisiana added a run in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Carson Roccaforte.
Cooper Rawls (4-0) allowed just three hits in 2 2/3 shutout frames of relief for Louisiana and earned the win before Carson Fluno worked the final 3 2/3 innings for his second save of the season.
Higgs hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth to make it 7-4 before Brock belted a grand-slam to left in the seventh to expand the Cajuns’ lead to 11-4. Two more runs crossed in the eighth on a pinch-hit home run by Wilkerson.
Thomas led off the ninth inning with his first career home run, belting a 1-0 offering over the left-field wall to pull A-State within eight, but the Red Wolves would muster one more hit on the afternoon – a two-out single by Wil French – before a flyout ended the ballgame.
A-State looks to salvage the final game of its three-game set against Louisiana Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. on ESPN+. The radio broadcast will be carried on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3, 96.9 and 970 AM in Jonesboro, as well as online at 953theticket.com.
For the latest on A-State Baseball, follow the team by liking Arkansas State Baseball on Facebook, as well as following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (astatebaseball).
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A-State Drops 13-5 Saturday Contest at Louisiana. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council