JONESBORO, Ark. — Senior Ryan Wilson recorded his fifth save and fourth in as many outings to give the Louisiana-Lafayette baseball team a 6-5 victory over Arkansas State in the series opener Friday night at Tomlinson Stadium.
Wilson threw 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts and a walk. He faced one over the minimum.
The win is the fourth straight for UL-Lafayette and moves the squad to 42-6 overall and 19-3 in Sun Belt Conference play. The Cajuns also improved to 18-1 on the road.
“Just another good game from our guys tonight,” said associate head coach Anthony Babineaux, filling in for the suspended Tony Robichaux. “It seems like these last four have all come down the end. The guys found a way to grind out another win.”
The Cajuns and Red Wolves (26-20, 14-8) each had nine hits. Jace Conrad, Chase Compton and Michael Strentz each had two hits, with Strentz posting a game-high three RBIs.
Starter Austin Robichaux picked up his sixth win, holding ASU to two runs and three hits in five innings.
David Owen was saddled with the loss for Arkansas State after surrendering six runs (three earned) and eight hits in six innings to fall to 5-4.
Strentz put the Cajuns on the board in the third, driving in Compton from first on a double to left field.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the top of the fourth to make it 3-0. Wilson came around to score on an Arkansas State error, and Strentz singled in Conrad to give the Cajuns the three-run edge.
In the bottom of the fourth, Matt Burgess cut the Ragin’ Cajuns’ advantage to 3-2 on a two-run homer to right.
UL-Lafayette got the runs back in the fifth. After infield singles by Ryan Leonards and Seth Harrison, Leonards came home to score on another error to increase the lead to 4-2. Later in the inning, Harrison scored on a wild pitch.
Strentz brought home his third run in the sixth on a ground ball to short, scoring Compton from third to make it 6-2.
ASU plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-5. Ty Michelotti doubled in the first run of the inning. In the next at-bat, Joe Schrimpf singled to center to score Michelotti. Dustin Jones brought home the final run of the inning on a double to right.
With two outs in the seventh, Wilson came on and struck out Eric Wilcoxson looking. Wilson didn’t allow a runner to reach second in the final two innings despite giving up two hits.
The Cajuns and Red Wolves meet again at 6 p.m. Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium. Junior Carson Baranik (8-1, 3.41) is slated to pitch for UL-Lafayette.