Louisiana Dominates Arkansas State 10-0 in Weekend Series Opener
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns shut out the Arkansas State Red Wolves and scored 10 runs on 12 hits in a dominant victory to open their weekend series.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 16-14 overall and 5-5 in Sun Belt Conference play. It's the first shutout of the year for the Cajuns. The bats scored 10 runs on 12 hits, and the pitching only allowed four hits. Head coach Matt Deggs said his team did a good job of executing the game plan.
"I thought the offense did a really good job of creating tonight," Deggs said. "The guys that followed Talley did a good job. We played good defense too. I'm proud of our execution. It's a good way to start the series."
Louisiana's bats opened the scoring by using the short game in the second inning. Carson Roccaforte sparked the frame with a leadoff single. After that, Connor Kimple bunted for a single, Bobby Lada bunted them into scoring position, and Heath Hood bunted for another single to bring Roccaforte in. With runners at the corners and one out, Warnner Rincones bunted to score Kimple. A groundout finally ended the inning, but Louisiana took a 2-0 lead on four straight executed bunts.
Starting pitcher Brandon Talley ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the second after he gave up two singles to start the inning. However, a line-out to Rincones turned into a double-play for the Cajuns. He walked the next batter but got a groundout to end the frame. Following that walk, Talley retired eight straight Red Wolves.
The Cajuns got a two-out rally in the third inning. Kyle DeBarge used an excellent at-bat to work a walk. Roccaforte and Kimple each hit RBI-doubles following DeBarge's walk to increase Louisiana's lead to 4-0.
In the fifth, Louisiana once again put pressure on Arkansas State's defense. Max Marusak reached second base on an error to start the inning. A sac-bunt by Tyler Robertson moved him to third, and DeBarge executed a bunt single to score Marusak. Louisiana stranded two, but their lead was 5-0.
Talley walked two batters in the bottom of the fifth. However, he was able to avoid walking the bases loaded by getting a groundout on a full count to escape the inning.
Three hits to start the sixth: a double by Hood, a single by Rincones, and a RBI-double by Julian Brock made it 6-0 with two runners in scoring position without any outs. Arkansas State made a call to the bullpen, and Marusak hit a sac-fly to score another run. Brock scored on a wild pitch to empty the bases and make it 8-0.
Dylan Theut and Jake Hammond pitched clean sixth and seventh innings out of the bullpen to keep Arkansas State scoreless.
Louisiana increased their lead in the eighth with another two-out rally. DeBarge doubled to put two runners in scoring position, and a walk loaded the bases. Jonathan Brandon singled to score two more runs, making it 10-0.
Austin Perrin and Peyton Havard combined to get the final six outs and shut out the Red Wolves. The Cajuns earned an impressive 10-0 win on the road.
Up next, Louisiana and Arkansas State play game two of their weekend series on Saturday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m.