ARLINGTON, Texas — UT-Arlington held two leads against Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday night.
Both times, the Ragin’ Cajuns rallied, showing why they’ve been the most potent team in the Sun Belt Conference all season.
The Cajuns got two homers from Caleb Adams and posted a 9-5 win at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks (16-22, 8-8) fell back to .500 in the conference standings after they’d won back-to-back games in Sun Belt play.
UL-Lafayette (35-4, 15-1), ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, won for the 10th time in its past 12 games.
The series continues at 2 p.m. Saturday and concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Friday night, the Cajuns scored four runs in the eighth on five hits against two UTA relievers to buld an 8-4 lead.
UL-Lafayette opened the inning with two bunt singles, setting the table for a big rally.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against UL-Lafayette starter Carson Baranik. Eric Tate singled with one out and scored on Matt Shortall’s triple that eluded center fielder Seth Harrison.
The inning ended with a double play, as Shortall was thrown out at home by Harrison after Ryan Bottger’s flyout.
Adams put the Cajuns up 2-1 with a two-run homer to right in the fourth. It was a big blow against UTA starter Brad Vachon, who didn’t allow a hit through first three innings.
The Mavericks let a golden chance to at least tie the game in the fourth slip away. Bottger was left stranded after a one-out triple after Baranik struck out the next two batters.
Baranik wasn’t as lucky in the fifth. UTA chased the right-hander, scoring three runs for a 4-2 lead. Derek Miller had a two-run single with the bases loaded, and Shortall added a run-scoring single.
Vachon pitched into the seventh, departing with one out and two on in favor of reliever TJ Whidby. Those two runs scored on Harrison’s two-out triple of the left-field wall, tying the game at 4.
Senior left-hander Chase Weaver came on for Whidby and ended with inning with a fly ball to center.
The Mavericks loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh before the inning ended on Levi Scott’s line drive to right.
Miller, Shortall, Bottger and Scott each had at least two hits for UTA.
Michael Strentz was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs for the Ragin’ Cajuns.