The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns got a great outing from the pitching staff to quiet the hot bats of Jackson State in a 7-0 win Tuesday night at Russo Park. Blake McGehee returned and Cooper Rawls shined in an impressive outing as the Cajuns played their penultimate game before conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Louisiana started right-hander Blake McGehee, who made his first appearance since his start against Rice on opening weekend. McGehee was sharp in his first inning of work, getting the Tigers in order. The Cajun offense wasted no time in the bottom half, as Max Marusak singled, stole second and third, and scored on a Kyle Debarge ground out. That was followed by a couple of base runners reaching before John Taylor cleared the bases with an inside-the-park home run to deep center field. The Cajuns led 4-0 after one inning.
Things would settle down after the first inning for a while. McGehee went two strong innings for the Cajuns, and turned it over to Cooper Rawls, who was also effective. It was not until the bottom of the fifth that the Cajuns would extend the lead. They manufactured a run thanks to a walk, error, stolen base, and sacrifice fly from Julian Brock to score Debarge and make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, Louisiana would add a couple more runs, one via a sacrifice fly and the other from a wild pitch. It was the pitching, however, that stole the show in this one. Cajuns’ pitchers Blake McGehee, Cooper Rawls, JT Etheridge, and Taylor Parrett combined to shut out the Tigers’ offense, which had come in scoring over nine runs per game. Rawls was as effective as any, going five innings with just one hit allowed, striking out six and not allowing a run. The Cajuns closed it out for a 7-0 victory.
BIG NUMBER: 0
Cajun pitching allowed 0 runs to Jackson State, a team that had previously been averaging over nine runs per game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cooper Rawls
Rawls was effective and gave the Cajuns some length. He went five strong innings and helped to save the bullpen in what will be a busy week for Louisiana.
UP NEXT: The Cajuns will start Sun Belt Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Arkansas State at home beginning Friday at 6:00.