Cajuns Win Opening Game of Series Against UL-Monroe 9-5
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns took an early lead on the road against the UL-Monroe Warhawks and held on late to win game one of their three-game series 9-5.
Cajuns freshman Carson Roccaforte had a record-setting night with five stolen bases. He reached base on each of his five at-bats with four singles and a walk. He had three runs scored and one RBI in the game.
Roccaforte helped the Cajuns get the scoring started in the top of the second inning. His leadoff single and a stolen base allowed a wild pitch to get him to third, and Bobby Lada hit a sacrifice fly-out to bring him home and get Louisiana off to an early 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns added two in the third inning on a two-out, two-run home run by Tyler Robertson. The bats continued scoring in the fourth with two more runs to open up a 5-0 lead.
Louisiana ace Spencer Arrighetti ran into a couple of issues early on. The Warhawks loaded the bases with one out in the second, but did not get a run out of it. They had another chance to score with a two-out rally that put runners on the corners in the third inning, but Arrighetti got the third out. After that, the Cajuns starter settled in to pitch a quality start.
Arrighetti finished with six shutout innings pitched, striking out seven batters and only allowing four hits. He was given the win to improve to 5-1 this year and his ERA for the season is now .90.
Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs talked about his ace's performance in the Thursday night game.
"It was a grinder night for Spencer tonight," Deggs said. "He did not have his great stuff, and I thought the offense did a good job of scoring around him early."
"Spencer does what he does," Deggs said. "He's Houdini out there. I thought he did a really good job tonight."
The Cajuns offense added a run on a small two-out rally in the seventh. Roccaforte singled, stole a base, and came home on a RBI-double by Lada to make the score 6-0.
UL-Monroe finally cut into the Louisiana lead with a two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Cajuns answered with three insurance runs on three hits in the top of the ninth to get their largest lead of the night at 9-2.
The Warhawks used four hits to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the lead the Cajuns had built was too large to overcome, and Louisiana won the opening game of the series 9-5.
Despite the late five-run push by the Warhawks in the final two innings, Deggs was impressed with his team's performance.
"I liked the way we played tonight with offense, defense, and pitching," Deggs said. "It was an overall complete game, and we've got to do it again tomorrow."
With the win, Louisiana improved to 15-11 on the season and 3-1 in Sun Belt Conference play. They play UL-Monroe in game two of the series Friday night at 6:00 p.m.