One thing you’ve got to give the UL Ragin’ Cajuns this season, there’s not much quit in them.
Despite a frustrating four-game losing streak, not even a 10-0 deficit could get coach Tony Robichaux’s down.
As soon as visiting Texas State posted a nine-run inning to take a 10-0 lead in the top of the fifth, the Cajuns went on a tear with three runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and four more in the seventh to draw within 10-9 after seven innings.
But some sloppy defense and more subpar relief work down the stretch didn’t allow UL to complete the comeback in a 13-9 loss to Texas State in game one of the series at Russo Park.
On alumni weekend, the Cajuns were sporting their throw-back uniforms. They attempted an historic comeback, but it just wasn't to be.
“This was not pretty baseball right here, especially for a Friday night,” Robichaux said. “I give credit to our hitters. They did a good job of fighting back, but we have to get it going before somebody gets a big inning on us. We’ve got to fight from the get-go.
“Still, we have chances to do damage with the bases loaded and one out to take the lead. We couldn’t do it. But I do give them credit. They came back and fought an put us in a closer position.”
The St. Thomas More connection of Brennan Breaux and O’Neal Lochridge got the Cajuns’ comeback ignited with an RBI single by Lochridge and two-run double by Breaux in the fifth.
In the sixth, Todd Lott’s long at-bat ended with a clutch two-run left through the left side to narrow the gap to 10-5.
Incredibly, the Cajuns (20-25, 8-11) then loaded the bases for the third straight inning and this time got four runs to show for it.
Hayden Cantrelle’s slow runner was misplayed to score one, Lochridge was hit by a pitch to score one and later scored on a wild pitch. Lott added a sacrifice fly to center to make it 10-9.
Brandon Young had his roughest start in a while as UL’s starting pitcher, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
UL reliever Grant Cox kept the Cajuns’ chances of a comeback alive with 3.1 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.
“Grant Cox is the only guy who did his job tonight,” Robichaux said.
Once Cox left the game, though, the bullpen faltered again, giving up three insurance runs for the visiting Bobcats (29-13, 13-6) in the ninth.
As a staff, the Cajuns walked nine and hit a batter in addition to allowing 14 hits.
“But our relief pitching let the game get away again,” Robichaux said. “That’s what’s been killing us in the second half. In the first half, we pitched, but we didn’t hit. In the second half, we’re hitting, but we’re not pitching coming out of the bullpen.”
Not expected to help the bullpen out this weekend is former ace left-hander Gunner Leger. Robichaux confirmed after Friday's loss that Leger won't be available this weekend.