LAFAYETTE – A three-spot in the bottom half of the third inning cut an early six-run deficit in half, but Louisiana’s offense could not generate any more runs on Wednesday evening as it fell to McNeese State, 6-3, at Russo Park.
The game seemed destined for another offensive explosion similar to the first meeting between the two programs, but after scoring all nine of the games runs in the first three innings, including eight in the third, the two teams went scoreless over the final six frames.
Senior Hunter Kasuls and sophomore O’Neal Lochridge each knocked three hits in the game, with both producing doubles and Kasuls adding an RBI. The final three Ragin’ Cajun hits came from Hayden Cantrelle, Todd Lott and Jordan Wiley.
Connor Cooke went 4.0 innings in relief, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before allowing no runs on two hits and fanning a career-high six batters, while Michael Leaumont closed out the final 2.1 innings allowing just two hits. Grant Cox took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits in 2.2 innings pitched.
After taking a 1-0 advantage in the second inning on an RBI fielder’s choice, McNeese State (17-16, 4-8) put up a five-spot in the top of the third on two homers, a double and a single to push its advantage out to 6-0.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (17-19, 6-6) responded in a big way, using three-straight doubles off the bats of Lochridge, Cantrelle and Kasuls to open the bottom of the same frame with two runs. Lott then flied out to center to push home another run to cut the lead in half at 6-3.
Louisiana’s best chance to get back into the game came in the fifth when it loaded the bases with two outs, but nothing came of the chance. The score remained the same over the final four innings, allowing McNeese State to escape with the 6-3 decision.
The eight-game homestand will wrap up this weekend when Louisiana welcomes South Alabama to Russo Park. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m., on Friday, 4 p.m., on Saturday and 1 p.m., on Sunday.
***Courtesy UL Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics