After splitting the first two games of the series, the Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team came into Sunday afternoon’s game versus High Point University looking for their 10th win of the season. Louisiana took the early lead and never let it go and Carson Roccoforte and Kyle Debarge both had big games as they beat the Panthers 6-5.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
It was a three-up-three-down inning for High Point to begin as Javon Fields and Cael Chatham both hit grounders to send us to the bottom of the opening frame.
Kyle Debarge drew first blood at the bottom of the first as he hit a home run over the left field wall on a 1-2 count. That was his third boombah of the series. Carson Roccaforte then singled into right field and stole second base. He’d advance to third off of a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly out by Julian Brock. The Cajuns were up 2-0 heading into the second inning.
Jackson Nezuh picked up his first two strikeouts of the game as he retired back-to-back Panthers batters while Adam Stuart recorded the first hit for High Point with a single.
At the bottom of the third, Max Marusak’s bunt single resulted in him going to third base after a failed pick-off attempt by Panthers pitcher Gus Hughes. Debarge’s single brought in Marusak to give Louisiana the three-run advantage.
High Point cut it to within one as Stuart hit the ball on the inside of the foul pole for the two-run homer. Cajuns were up 3-2 headed to the bottom of the fourth.
The Cajuns extended their lead in the fifth inning. Debarge, who was hit by a pitch scored on a Roccaforte RBI double into right field. Rocco moved to third base and made it a 5-2 ball game. CJ Willis and Brock were left stranded after Mason Zambo was the final out of the inning.
The Panthers cut it back down to a one-run game at the top of the sixth. Stuart and Jack Pokorak each hit a single with Stuart making it to third. Cole Singsank then hit a ground-rule double and Charlie Clinger, who pinch-hit for Josh Deslauriers hit a sacrifice grounder to allow Pokorak to score and make it 5-4. David Christie came in for Nezuh when there was one out. Nezuh ended the day with eight K’s.
Conor Higgs pinch ran for Taylor after he was walked and eventually scored on a Roccaforte single into right field to go back up by two.
High Point made it a one-run game again at the top of the ninth as Brett Ahalt’s single drove in Singsank with just one out and runners on first and second. Louisiana would get the double play to end the game as the Cajuns won 6-5.
BIG NUMBER: 20
We saw 20 total hits between the two teams on Sunday as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns won the rubber match on Sunday. The Cajuns had 11 compared to the Panthers’ nine.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carson Roccaforte
Rocco recorded four hits, two runs, two RBIs, and stole a couple of bases on five at-bats in the Cajuns’ 6-5 rubber match win. Kyle Debarge also had a nice game with a couple of runs and hits and a home run in the first inning.
UP NEXT: The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will host Jackson State on Tuesday, March 14th. The first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.