The reliever had to do a little more than originally planned, but combination of Jack Burk and Austin Perrin is beginning to sparkle.
For the second straight Friday night, the Ragin’ Cajuns tossed a combined shutout with a 2-0 win over Georgia State on Friday at Tigue Moore Field.
CONWAY, S.C. — It had all the makings of a high-scoring affair.
“Last Friday, we were facing a good arm, but tonight we knew he’s really good,” UL coach Tony Robichaux said. “Boy, he (Ga. State starter Hunter Gaddis) was really good tonight. The only way to beat an arm like that is play good defense and you’ve got to get good pitching on the other side.”
The Cajuns improved to 23-28 overall and 11-14 in league play. Game two of the series is slated for 4 p.m. Saturday.
For the record, ULM lost at Troy on Friday, so the Cajuns are currently in 10th place in the overall Sun Belt standings.
Gaddis is finishing the season strong after a slow start, following his recognition as the Sun Belt’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
On Friday, Burk and Perrin more than matched him. Burk allowed just two hits, no walks and struck out six in five innings.
The initial plan was for him to go five, but Burk thought better of it.
“Jack was real good tonight,” Robichaux said. “He had a little tender elbow after that last inning. He said his elbow was a little tight. He didn’t feel a pop or anything like that. Again, those veterans, I’m glad they speak up. A freshman, he’s liable to go back out there and maybe do something bad to it.”
Sometimes you have to solve the identity crisis before moving on the true challenge at hand.
Getting 12 outs instead of nine didn’t seem to bother Perrin at all. He hurled four shutout innings on three hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
“Those two guys really work well together,” Robichaux said. “One guy’s got that fastball turning down under the elbows and the other’s got the change-up running out.”
Perrin actually ended up throwing more pitches (73) than Burk did with 64.
“It kind of pushed me, but being in the bullpen, you have to be ready at all time mentally and physically,” Veillon said.
His biggest test came in the eighth, but he coaxed a long fly out to Brandon Bell to end the threat with two outs and two on.
Coaches generally like to be prepared going into a game or a series.
“They weren’t really seeing the change-up well, so we kept going back to it,” Perrin said. “I kind of left it up a little bit, but he didn’t really get a good barrel on it.”
As good as the pitching was, however, the Cajuns had to score at least one run. Orynn Veillon took care of that himself in the second inning by singling and then stealing second and third base ahead of a Handsome Monica sacrifice fly.
“I’ve been trying to get on base more and steal some bags a little bit more,” Veillon said. “The home runs will come, but when I’m on base, I just try to cause a little chaos.
“I was definitely thinking it (stealing third). I tried to play it like I wasn’t going to go and then the last second I went. It was nice (to then score on sac fly).”
Veillon was 2-for-3 with a double to extend his hitting streak to a team-high 15 games, batting an incredible .397 during that stretch.
The second run scored thanks to a passed ball.
“You can’t get disappointed (offensively) on a night like that,” Robichaux said. “That’s really how you have to win.”