It was certainly a curious move.
The reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week in Hunter Kasuls was on deck, fresh off his school-record 6-for-6 performance Saturday.
Due up was Hayden Cantrelle - pretty accomplished as well as one of two Cajuns recognized as first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honorees – with runners on second and third and two outs of a 2-2 game in the sixth inning.
Appalachian State chose to intentionally walk Cantrelle to face Kasuls.
A lot has changed for both the UL Ragin’ Cajuns and the Appalachian State Mountaineers since the two teams met in late March.
Right or wrong, it didn’t work.
Kasuls doubled home both runners to give the UL Ragin’ Cajuns the lead for good in a 6-2 victory over the Mountaineers on Tuesday to advance into the double-elimination portion of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Conway, S.C.
The decisive inning began with a one-out Brennan Breaux single and then a walk to Cole McKinnon. After Connor Dupuy’s ground out moved up both runners, Kasuls delivered the game-winning blow.
The Cajuns improved to 28-29 overall with the win and will now meet Georgia Southern at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Coastal Carolina’s Springs Brooks Stadium.
Kasuls’ clutch hit also made a winning pitcher out of Austin Perrin, who threw three shutout relief innings with one hit, no walks and two strikeouts.
Brandon Young was UL’s starter. He struggled early with his control, but settled down to give coach Tony Robichaux four innings. During that time, he allowed two runs on three hits, four walks and struck out eight.
Gunner Leger pitched a perfect 1.1 innings to notch the save.
Kasuls finished the game 1-for-3 with three RBIs, while Breaux was 2-for-3
Something needed to change.
UL scratched for a run in the first when Cantrelle and Kasuls walked and Todd Lott’s grounder to short was misplayed to score one. In the second, the Cajuns made it 2-0 on Kasuls’ sacrifice fly after Breaux and Cantrelle were hit by pitches and McKinnon walked.
The Mountaineers tied the game with two runs in the fifth off Young.
Cantrelle then showed in the eighth perhaps why the Mountaineers weren’t eager to pitch to him with an RBI double for an insurance run.