Progress was made, but still no cigar.
It’s getting to be a troubling trend for the UL Ragin’ Cajuns: Play great on Friday and then not being able to follow it up the rest of the weekend.
One day after an early offensive onslaught and another pitching gem from ace right-hander Spencer Arrighetti, Coastal Carolina used the long ball to sink the Cajuns 5-3 in Game 2 on Saturday at Russo Park.
"I thought it was a whale of a ball game by both sides," UL coach Matt Deggs said. "It was just a good scrap all the way around."
The game ended with the Cajuns scoring one in the bottom of the ninth, but striking out for only the third time on the day with the tying runners in scoring position.
"I hate losing," Deggs said. "I'm probably the worst loser out there, but sometimes you just have to stand back and go, 'That was a pretty good game.' We're a knock or two away from really getting after it.
"Today's one of those days where I'm proud of the way we played."
The Cajuns dropped to 12-11 and 1-1 with the loss, while the Chanticleers rose to 14-7 and 1-1 in Sun Belt play.
The rubber game of the conference part of this four-game weekend set has been moved to 3 p.m. to account for the potential of early rain Sunday.
"In all three phases, I liked the way we played, l liked the way we competed," said Deggs, who said Austin Perrin is slated to start Sunday's game. "We had our opportunities all the way until the end."
Things were dead even at 1-1 until the Cajuns elected to go to the bullpen. Starter Carter Robinson threw 70 pitches in four innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
“I thought Carter gave us everything he had today and I thought we defended it extremely well,” Deggs said of pulling his starter after four innings. “That was kind of the game plan going in. We're working to make an adjustment with him and liked the way he had thrown the baseball.
"I felt like Chip (reliever Chipper Menard) was going to give us a really good look."
Menard walked the first batter he faced and then yielded a two-run homer to Billy Underwood.
"I love Chip," Deggs said. "If we cut out the walks, we're going to be fine right there."
The Chanticleers went back to the long ball in the sixth with a one-out solo shot to right by Nick Lucky.
Menard was touched with a third run in the seventh and again it was a leadoff walk to Fox Leum. Making those two walks even more frustrating to UL was Leum only had four at-bats on the season before Saturday’s game.
"The guys we're running out there are more than capable of challenging and staying in the strike zone," said Deggs, who said Sam Riola is out four to six weeks after thumb surgery. "I don't mind the home run. It's just the home run after silly walks."
Eric Brown turned that into a run with an RBI double off reliever Jason Nelson to make it 5-2
Nick Parker got the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits, one walk and one strikeout. After Shaddon Peavyhouse pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings, Luke Barrow got the save after loading up the bases and giving up one run on a Brennan Breaux sacrifice fly.
Despite the two runs, the Cajuns only struck out three times and hit a lot of balls hard with little luck. Tyler Robertson had the best day at the plate for UL at 4 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI.
"Honestly, we had him in a two-strike approach all day," Deggs said. "Oddly enough, he was looking to hit the ball the other way all day and he winds up pulling the snot out of it."
Robertson could have been 5 for 5 but Coastal's Nick Lucky robbed him of a hit on a line drive with a spectacular catch in the seventh.
"We had some opportunities for the big hit," Deggs said. "We just couldn't quite cash in."