From SLU Athletics
LAFAYETTE, La. – A couple of late rallies by the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team fell short Wednesday as the Lions dropped a 6-3 decision at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Twice ULL (29-13) responded to a Southeastern (26-16) run with a pair of their own as the Ragin' Cajuns won their second-straight game in the series.
The Lions took the lead in the first. Back-to-back singles by Ben Hernandez and Jameson Fisher put a pair on with one out. After a strikeout, Harry Slade doubled down the third-base line to plate Hernandez.
ULL responded with two in the second to chase Lion starting pitcher Jordan Hymel. Caleb Adams drew a leadoff walk and went to third on Blake Trahan's double. After Hymel struck out Dylan Butler, Southeastern went to the bullpen for Sean Kennel (4-3).
Michael Strentz greeted Kennel with a double to right-center field to plate both runners and give the Ragin' Cajuns the lead.
Kennel settled in, allowing the Lions to tie the game with a run in the sixth. Sam Roberson drew a one-out walk and went all the way third on an errant pickoff attempt by ULL starter Matt Plitt (3-0). He later scored on Slade's ground out to second base.
The game remained tied for another inning, but the Ragin' Cajuns chased Kennel with four-consecutive hits to open the seventh. Butler tripled to left-center and score on Strentz' fourth home run of the season. Third baseman Sam Carriere singled, stole second and scored on Dex Kjerstad's single up the middle.
Southeastern played the percentages, bringing in southpaw Matt Pittari to face left-handed hitting Jace Conrad and then John Gremillion to get a pair of right-handed hitters.
Trailing 5-2 entering the eighth, the Lions came right back with a run. Jameson Fisher tripled to right-center with one out and scored on a passed ball. Roberson and Slade each single, and pulled off a double steal, but the Lions failed to get another runner home.
ULL tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning for the final margin of victory.
Plitt, the Ragin' Cajun starter, earned the win with eight innings of work and Ryan Wilson worked a perfect ninth for his first save. Kennel suffered the loss for the Lions while Slade and Fisher had a pair of hits each.
Southeastern returns to action Friday at 6 p.m. as the Lions host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-17, 9-6 Southland) in the opener of a three-game, Southland Conference series at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. It is a $5 Friday and Raising Cane's Challenge game.
The Islanders enter the weekend tied with the Lions, Lamar and Sam Houston State, one game back of first-place Stephen F. Austin in the conference standings.