HAMMOND — The Southeastern Louisiana baseball team held Louisiana-Lafayette scoreless for eight of nine innings Sunday.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took full advantage of that other inning.
The Cajuns scored five runs in the sixth to propel them to a 5-4 win Sunday and a series victory.
“We got some doubles with runners on, and that helped us kind of extend that inning and let us stay in it long enough to score that five-spot,” Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said. “(Saturday) night they got us with multiple three-run innings. … Today, our whole goal was to stay away from the three-run inning, and we were able to do that.”
Southeastern coach Matt Riser took responsibility for the loss after choosing to bring in midweek starting pitcher Pat Cashman to relieve Domenick Carlini, who had worked himself into a jam. Carlini’s day was done after giving up a RBI single to Cajuns center fielder Kyle Clement with two on and no outs. In his first five innings, Carlini had allowed no runs on two hits.
Riser said he wanted to wait until the seventh to call on closer Kade Granier. Unfortunately for the Lions (26-11), Cashman immediately gave up an RBI single to Stefan Trosclair, an RBI groundout to Brad Antchak and an RBI double to Brenn Conrad.
By the time Riser made the switch to Granier — just 17 pitches later — the Cajuns (24-12) held a lead they would not relinquish.
Cajuns catcher Nick Thurman knocked an RBI double into the left-field corner off Granier, but then the Lions closer retired 11 of the next 12 batters to finish the game.
“I should have trusted Granier and gone straight to him,” Riser said. “It was earlier in the game, and I know you don’t usually go to your closer in the sixth inning, but I should have trusted that he was fresh and ready to compete and give us what we needed out of the bullpen.”
The rally couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cajuns, who struggled to put together any offensive momentum during the other 17 innings the team played in Hammond this weekend. Similar to Riser on Sunday, Robichaux took responsibility for the Cajuns’ 16-5 loss Saturday, saying the loss embarrassed the program.
Trosclair didn’t feel quite as strongly about the loss, but he did say it was important to win Sunday and take the series.
“Things didn’t go our way, but that’s baseball,” Trosclair said. “You just have to stay off results and stay the process and eventually things will work out.”
Sunday was the second straight weekend that Cajuns pitcher Dylan Moore recorded a three-inning save; it was his second save of the weekend. He has gone 15.2 innings without allowing a run. Starter Nick Lee allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Riser said Cashman is still the favorite to start against LSU on Wednesday despite taking the loss Sunday.