LAFAYETTE — The series opener between Louisiana-Lafayette and UL-Monroe was suspended with two outs in the top of the fifth inning Thursday night after a bolt of lightning shot across the sky beyond center field.
The game will resume at 4 p.m. Friday with the Warhawks leading 1-0. Depending on how it plays out, this might wind up benefitting the Cajuns in the long run.
Sophomore starter Gunner Leger, who entered the game with a sterling 2.22 ERA, was his usual self. In 4.2 innings, he struck out five and allowed three hits. The one run he allowed was unearned, though he is responsible for the runners that will be standing on first and second base when play resumes Friday.
While the Cajuns may have preferred being able to use Leger for the full duration of his start, they do now get the benefit of limiting his workload in his regular season finale with the postseason starting next week. Leger threw just 73 pitches Thursday before the game was suspended.
The suspension of the game could work out positively for the Cajuns on the other side of the mound as well.
Warhawks starter Keegan Curtis has a no-hitter going through four innings, though he won’t get a chance to complete it.
The only base runner he allowed came on a one-out walk to Joe Robbins in the first inning, and Robbins was thrown out trying to steal second to end the frame.
Both teams will have to go into their bullpen to finish the game, and the Cajuns have a decided advantage there – though it could’ve also been said they had an advantage in the starting pitcher category before Thursday’s game, which Curtis apparently wasn’t made aware of.
Fans wishing to watch the remainder of the series opener will not need a ticket Friday.
The stadium will be cleared at the conclusion of Game 1, and normal ticket operations will resume for Game 2, which is tentatively scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
This is, of course, assuming the weather cooperates on Friday. Weather forecasts are calling for more rain and isolated thunderstorms.
The Cajuns quest for a Sun Belt championship took a big hit Thursday night.
South Alabama plated five runs in the top of the 10th inning to score an 8-3 road win against Troy Thursday night.
In order for the Cajuns to take the title, they would have to sweep ULM and Troy has to sweep the final two games against South Alabama. South Alabama’s win also means that the Cajuns will not be able to win the conference if any of the remaining games get outright canceled.
ULM’s slim hopes to make the conference tournament stayed alive Thursday as well. The Warhawks are in the same situation as the Cajuns, needing two more wins than Arkansas State this weekend to make the tournament. The Red Wolves dropped their series opener to Little Rock Thursday.
For fans hoping to catch Friday’s action on the radio, the remainder of Thursday’s suspended game will air on KPEL-AM 1420 at 4 p.m. The second game of the series will then be broadcast on 96.5 FM as originally scheduled.