BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State starter Taylor Thurber got the better of freshman left-hander Gunner Leger as the Louisiana-Lafayette baseball team fell to the Mountaineers 2-1 on Friday night at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Cajuns and drops the squad to 29-16 overall and 13-8 in Sun Belt play, while App State is now 14-33 on the year and 6-18 in league play.
“(Gunner) threw really well tonight, and the error really hurt us,” Cajuns head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We gave them a free, cheap run and that’s what did us in against a good arm. I told our stand up in the end because these are the kind of arms that you are going to face in the postseason. We can’t let a game like this spook us. We’ve got to come back ready to play tomorrow and get a win.”
Thurber (4-8) limited the Ragin’ Cajuns to one run on five hits in a complete-game effort. He also registered a career-best 11 strikeouts and did not allow a free pass on the evening.
Leger had an equally strong start holding the Mountaineers to two runs (one earned) on seven hits in 7.2 innings with six strikeouts and no walks to fall to 5-3 on the season.
App State outhit the Cajuns 7-5 in the game led by first baseman Connor Leonard who was 2-for-4 with a double.
Both catcher Nick Thurman and third baseman Evan Powell had a pair of hits in the contest for the Cajuns.
Second baseman Stefan Trosclair gave the Cajuns a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as lifted a 2-out solo home run to left-center off of Thurber. It was Trosclair’s 11th homer of the year.
The Mountaineers evened the score at 1 in the bottom of the third on a solo home run down the left-field line by Brandon Burris off of Leger with one out.
Appalachian State took advantage of a Cajuns error in the bottom of the fifth to go in front 2-1. Catcher Chadler Seagle reached on an error by Trosclair to lead off the inning, then moved to third on a pair of wild pitches by Leger. Seagle then scored on a double to left-center by second baseman Dillon Dobson to give Appalachian State a one-run edge.
UL-Lafayette’s best threat came in the bottom of the seventh as first baseman Greg Davis reached on an error and then moved to third on a two-out double to right by Powell, but Thurber got pinch hitter Brenn Conrad to ground out to second to end the inning.
Thurber went on to retire six of the last seven batters he faced to close out the contest, getting Thurman to ground out to second to end the game.
The Cajuns and Mountaineers return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday. Freshman right-hander Evan Guillory takes the mound for UL-Lafayette. Appalachian State will counter with freshman right-hander Travis Holden.