LAFAYETTE, La. – Freshman Hayden Cantrelle came up with the late-game heroics on Thursday night as his walk-off homer in the tenth inning lifted the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team to a 4-3 victory over ULM in the series opener at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
The victory extended the Ragin’ Cajuns (31-23, 16-12 SBC) win streak versus the Warhawks (23-29, 10-18 SBC) to 23 games and also increased the squad’s lead in the Sun Belt West Division to a game and a half over Little Rock.
Senior Dylan Moore claimed the victory for Louisiana with two scoreless innings in relief to improve to 4-3 on the year. Moore worked around two hits and a walk and had three strikeouts in the outing.
Reliever Keegan Curtis took the loss for ULM giving up one run on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.
The Cajuns outhit the Warhawks 10-9 in the game as the club has posted double-digit hits in six of the last eight games.
LEADING THE CAJUNS
Cantrelle posted three hits on the night coming a single away from hitting for the cycle, while junior Daniel Lahare extended his hit streak to 15 games. Junior Kole McKinnon had a pair of hits in the game with a home run and two RBI.
Starter Colten Schmidt notched his tenth quality start of the season holding the Warhawks to three runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts in 8.0 innings. Schmidt didn’t allow a free pass for the eighth time this season and retired the last 10 batters he faced in the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED
ULM jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out, two run single to centerfield by Brendan Jordan.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got on the board in the bottom half of the second when Zach Fleur stole third base and then came home to score on a throwing error by catcher Spencer Hemphill to cut the lead to 2-1. Later in the inning, McKinnon doubled up the middle to plate Jonathan Windham and tie the game at 2-all.
McKinnon put Louisiana in front 3-2 on his third home run of the year as he hammered a solo blast to left field off of starter Trey Jeans.
The lead would be short lived though as the Warhawks evened the game at 3-all in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI single to left field by Will Daniels.
After four scoreless innings, ULM threatened in the top of the tenth loading the bases with one out, but Moore bore down and got struck out Daniels and Jordan to get out of the jam.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Cantrelle drove a 2-1 pitch from Curtis over the fence in left field for the game-winner to make the final 4-3. The home run was just the second of the year for Cantrelle.