Louisiana created enough offense and outlasted the BYU Cougars in a wild series finale to complete the four-game sweep with a 11-10 win on Saturday afternoon at Russo Park. Julian Brock led the way offensively and the Cajuns got a couple of nice pitching performances from the bullpen to finish an impressive week of play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cajuns started Florida State transfer Jackson Nezuh, who gave up two walks and a double in the first inning which created a 2-0 Cougars lead early. BYU starter Cutter Clawson then walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the first, but limited the damage to one run which made it 2-1 Cougars after one inning.
In the bottom of the second, Kyle Debarge came through with a two-run single which was followed up by a Heath Hood sacrifice fly that gave Louisiana a 4-2 lead and also chased Clawson from the game.
The Cougars were quick to answer as they plated four runs off of Nezuh in the top of the third. First, the second two-run double by Brock Watkins in the ballgame tied it at 4. Then, Safea Mauai connected with a two-run homer which gave BYU a 6-4 lead. One hit batter later and Jackson Nezuh was replaced by David Christie. Another RBI double made it 7-4 by the end of the inning.
Once again, the team that trailed had an answer. Louisiana scored three more in the bottom of the third highlighted by a CJ Willis RBI single. After just three innings of play, it was all even at 7.
Things finally settled down for a few innings before the bottom of the sixth. The Cajuns got a couple of runners on and Julian Brock delivered with a 2-run double to regain the lead 9-7.
Safea Mauai responded with his second home run of the game in the top of the seventh. However, that was answered by a Will Veillon solo shot in the bottom of the inning.
The Cajuns got an extra insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Julian Brock recorded his second RBI double of the game. As it turns out, that was an important one as BYU was not done. A two-run home run by Tate Gambill made it 11-10 in the ninth. However, Carson Fluno came in to get the final two outs and record the save for Louisiana.
BIG NUMBER: 21
The teams combined for 21 runs in what was the last game of a four-game series. Both teams had used plenty of pitching throughout the week so that aspect of this one was not entirely surprising.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Julian Brock
The Cajun catcher started the season in a small slump. He put that to bed as he homered yesterday and continued to swing it well today with a 2-4 performance that included two doubles and three RBIs.
UP NEXT: Louisiana will travel to McNeese on Tuesday to face the Cowboys in Joe Miller Ballpark at 6:00 P.M. before coming back home for a three-game series against Campbell at Russo Park starting Friday night.