LAFAYETTE — When UL-Lafayette third baseman Jonathan Windham came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night against, he was 1 for 22 on the season.
Windham ended the game his second hit of the year.
Windham drilled a first-pitch fastball from LSU closer Austin Bain, and center fielder Zach Watson's diving attempt came up just short, giving the Ragin' Cajuns a 4-3 win that sent a mob of teammates sprinting for Windham near the first-base line.
“I told myself as soon as I got to the plate, if you want greatness, you have to go and get it yourself,” Windham said.
UL-Lafayette coach Tony Robichaux said he would normally have pinch-hit for Windham in that situation, but he did not have an infielder on his bench.
“He had to get in there and get it done,” Robichaux said.
Windham’s game-winning single against LSU was the last wild, late shift in momentum Wednesday at newly constructed Russo Park.
Six of the game's seven runs were scored in the final three innings. The excitement started in the eighth inning, oddly enough, on a bunt.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Robichaux called for one of his favorite plays as soon as his team showed a spark of offensive life.
With runners at second and third, Robichaux called for the suicide squeeze, and he did not intend for just the tying run to come home.
With Gavin Bourgeois in motion from third base on the pitch, Cajuns second baseman Hunter Kasuls laid a perfect bunt down the first-base line. LSU pitcher Nick Bush fielded it and pump-faked a throw to first.
He did not notice Daniel Lahare barreling toward home, and by the time he did, the Cajuns (5-7) had taken a 2-1 lead. They later extended it to 3-1 on a Hayden Cantrelle RBI single.
"Credit to them,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “It was an aggressive play on their part and they executed it well.
“You don’t often see a four-hole hitter suicide squeeze bunt, so it caught us a little by surprise.”
But LSU (9-5) found a way to maximize its own spark. Mainieri called for Austin Bain as a pinch hitter with two outs and two on in the top of the ninth against Cajuns closer Logan Stoelke, who had not given up a hit this season.
Bain tattooed an 0-2 pitch over right fielder Zach LaFleur's head for a game-tying two-run double, then came on to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning to send the game into extras.
“He left a fastball up and I took it the other way,” Bain said of his game-tying double.
LSU freshman right-hander AJ Labas turned in another strong outing as a starter.
He was at his best with his back against the wall, when he unleashed his best pitch on the Cajuns to get out of a bases-loaded no-out situation in the second.
“I thought he was tremendous again,” Mainieri said.
Former LSU infielder O'Neal Lochridge swung through a brilliant 3-2 changeup from Labas for the first out, leadoff hitter Bourgeois watched a changeup for a called third strike and Labas completed the trick by striking out Lahare on a 1-2 changeup.
“Every fastball I threw at them, they were right on it. ... Throwing the changeup with the bases loaded, that was the easiest pitch to go to,” Labas said.