The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns avoided elimination with an offensive explosion by beating the Maine Black Bears 19-10 in the Coral Gables Regional on Saturday afternoon. The win means the Cajuns advance to Sunday, where they will meet the loser of the Texas vs Miami winner’s bracket matchup.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
This game was scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM Central, but was delayed by rain and lightning for over two hours. When it finally began, Louisiana turned to right-hander Carson Fluno on the mound. Fluno began the game by allowing a base runner, but he was erased by Julian Brock who threw him out trying to steal second.
Offensively, the Cajuns got things going in the bottom of the second. Brock started the scoring with an RBI single up the middle. Caleb Stelly, who was a bit of a surprise in the lineup, struck as well for an RBI single. Another run came home on a groundout and Max Marusak added the third RBI single of the inning, making it 4-0 when the second inning came to a close.
Maine answered with some offense of their own in the top of the third. A couple of hits led to a run which made it 4-1. The inning was brought to a close on a double play created by Conor Higgs in left field.
The Cajuns put up another crooked number in the fourth inning. This time, it all came on one swing from Kyle Debarge. Debarge lifted a three-run home run to left to open things up and make it 7-1 Louisiana. However, Maine answered promptly with a two-run shot from Jake Marquez in the top of the fifth to make it 7-3.
The offense would continue as the Cajuns answered with three more in the fifth, capped off by John Taylor’s two-run double. Maine once again had a response. This time it was the first career home run for Dean O’Neill, a two-run shot that brought it back to 10-5.
At this point, Louisiana’s offense decided to put things away. They struck for nine in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by Carson Roccaforte and Higgs both homering. Heading to the eighth, the lead was 19-5.
Maine fought back and added five more runs in the eighth inning, partly due to the second career home run for O’Neill, also his second of the day. That meant Louisiana had to bring in David Christie, who finished the game on the mound and sent Louisiana forward with the 19-10 win.
BIG NUMBER: 19
The Cajuns offense showed up in a big way, scoring 19 runs in the elimination game to help the team survive another day. They will need another solid effort with the bats when they face the loser of the Texas/Miami game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Julian Brock
The Cajuns’ catcher enjoyed a birthday and a fantastic day at the plate on Saturday. He went 3-4 with a double and three driven in and also threw out a would-be base stealer from his catcher position.
UP NEXT: The Cajuns will play at 11 AM Central tomorrow morning in another elimination game against the loser of the Texas/Miami matchup.