It would have been difficult for Spencer Arrighetti’s debut with the UL Ragin’ Cajuns to go any better.
The sophomore transfer right-hander didn’t allow a base hit until the seventh inning to lead the Cajuns to a 2-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in UL’s home opener Tuesday at Russo Park.
“My game plan tonight was the same as it is every single time I take the mound – just execute pitches,” Arrighetti said. “I knew it was going to be a big atmosphere – home opener. I knew the expectation is high obviously. They brought me here for a reason. I’m really glad that I got the nod
“It was awesome pitching in front of Cajun Nation for the first time. Those guys are electric. My dugout tonight was incredible. The at-bats were great. I loved the competition of all of it. That’s what we do here, we scrap.”
In 6.2 innings, Arrighetti allowed only one hit, walked just one and struck out nine.
“Fastball command, I would say for the most part,” Arrighetti said. “That’s the basis of everything for me. That’s what they preach to us all the time. When the fastball’s good, everything else works better.”
The former TCU pitcher that came to UL from Navarro Junior College, only allowed two runners on errors and one walk entering the seventh inning.
“They’re one of the better hitting teams that we’ll see all year,” UL coach Matt Deggs said. “In saying that, that makes what Spencer Arrighetti did here tonight even that much more impressive.”
In fact, the excitable right-hander might have been a little too good. Most pitchers are on pitch counts to start the season.
“He was putting me in a tough spot really pitch-wise because we’ve got a strict pitch count going,” Deggs said. “Now you’re in the dilemma of, do you want to make national news taking a kid out with a no-hitter.”
Arrighetti said he didn’t even look at Deggs in the dugout, because he didn’t want to come out.
“It didn’t matter to me that it was week one,” Arrighetti said. “I felt good. I was going to go until he decided I was done. The time came when it came.”
The Cajuns improved to 3-1 on the season and will now host LSU at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Tigers beat Louisiana Tech 16-7 on Monday in Baton Rouge.
Essentially, the Cajuns scratched across a run in the first inning and handed the game over to Arrighetti.
In the bottom of the first, Tyler Robertson reached on an error and scored on Carson Roccaforte’s RBI single.
The Cajuns did get an insurance run in the seventh when Drake Osborn led off with a double and then pinch-hit Brett Borgogno, who quickly bunted the first pitch to advance the runner to third.
“Borgogno’s bunt, he’s a Cal-State Fullerton kid – a little West coast baseball right there. He knows how to handle the bat,” Deggs said.
Bobby Lada let the count get to 1-2, but then delivered a clutch RBI single up the middle for a 2-0 lead.
“I was real proud of Bobby tonight,” Deggs said. “He missed our trip to Tulane because he was battling a little stomach bug. I wanted to run him out tonight. It’s hard to take Sam (Riola) out – I think we’d have a mutiny, a revolt, if we took Sam out at shortstop right now.
“So got him (Lada) over to second base and I thought he played tremendous tonight. Very quick twitch and very athletic.”
Ben Fitzgerald was UL’s only hitter with more than one knock at 2-for-3, but it didn’t matter.
Austin Perrin got one out after relieving Arrighetti in the seventh.
After he walked a batter, Jacob Schultz used a double play to get the Cajuns through the eighth.
Brandon Talley allowed successive singles with one out, but got a force out and strikeout to squash any Tech comeback hopes.