HOUSTON — The 21st-ranked University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball team saw its comeback bid fall short Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to Houston at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
For the third time this season, the Ragin’ Cajuns (31-18, 16-8 Sun Belt) lost a game in which they outhit their opponent. UL-Lafayette had eight hits to seven for the Cougars (29-19). The Cajuns were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the contest.
“Sooner or later we have to get something going at the plate,” Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said.
“We did walk two people, and both of those walks scored. We have to take care of all of our business. We are going to have to continue to keep pitching and playing defense like we have been to keep ourselves in it. Someone is going to have to step up for us at the plate. Sooner or later we are going to have to score runs.”
Sophomore Evan Guillory (4-5) was handed his fifth loss of the season after giving up one run on one hit in three innings.
Houston starter John King (6-3) earned the victory, limiting the Cajuns to two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings. King hit two batters, walked one and struck out three in the outing. Nick Hernandez tossed 2.2 scoreless innings in relief to tally his eight save of the year.
Offensively, Josh Vidales led the Cougars going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Brad Antchak had a pair of hits for the Cajuns.
Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI single by Josh Vidales to right field.
The Cougars added a run in the bottom of the fourth on Connor Hollis’ two-out RBI single up the middle.
Joe Davis increased the Houston advantage to 3-0 in the fifth scoring Michael Pyeatt from first base on a double down the left field line.
The Cajuns scored in the top of the seventh when Hunter Kasuls was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Brenn Conrad. In the next at bat, Brian Mills pulled the Cajuns within 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to right field.
In the top of the ninth, the Cajuns put the tying run into scoring position with a one-out double down the left-field line by Kennon Fontenot. Hernandez again bore down seeing Kasuls pop up and Mills go down swinging to end the contest.
Nicholls 6, Alcorn State 4: In Thibodaux, Nicholls fell into an early two-run hole but climbed their way back with four runs in the second inning and held on at Ray E. Didier Field.
Joey Morales had an RBI single to right field before Manichia’s double brought Ethan Valdez and Morales home in the inning for the Colonels (22-27). Justin Holt’s single to left field drove Manichia in, giving Nicholls a 4-2 lead.
Kyle Knauth padded the Colonels’ lead in the fifth with a solo homer to right.
Alcorn State pulled within 5-4 after a two-run sixth, but Nicholls immediately answered with a Morales double that scored Trevor Flynn.
Morales led the Colonels, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Manichia finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run. Flynn hit 2-for-3 with two runs, while Valdez went 1-for-1 with a run. Knauth finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run.
Cedric Walker paced Braves, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run.
Mike Hanchar (1-4) picked up the win, holding Alcorn State to two hits with two strikeouts through three scoreless innings. Hunter Speer earned his first career save, fanning one batter in the final hitless, scoreless inning.
George Helbig (3-8) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits through two innings.