From SLU Athletics
HAMMOND, La. – Louisiana-Lafayette piled up seven runs in the middle innings and hung on to beat the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team, 9-6, Tuesday, as the Ragin' Cajuns snapped a nine-game losing streak in the all-time series.
Southeastern (18-8) dropped a game to ULL (18-6) for the first time since the Ragin' Cajuns won, 3-1, in Lafayette, March 5, 2008.
The Lions built up a 3-0 lead after three innings, needing just a pair of hits. Ladd Rhodes drew a lead-off walk in the first, moved to third base on a pair of ground outs and stole home. It is the fourth steal of home this season for Southeastern.
Catcher Sam Roberson knocked a one-out single in the second inning, stole both second and third, and scored on an errant throw by the catcher. In the third, Rhodes singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Harry Slade.
ULL responded with three runs in the fourth to tie the game and one in the fifth to take the lead. The Ragin' Cajuns would pad the lead with three more in the sixth before Southeastern could respond.
Opposite-field hitting put Ben Hernandez and Slade on the corners in the sixth with no outs. Hernandez scored on an Aaron Haag fielder's choice and Haag would score on a Roberson ground out following Jameson Fisher's double.
The Ragin' Cajuns grabbed both of those runs back, however, in the eighth. Reliever Mason Klotz surrendered a one-out walk before Dex Kjerstad doubled and Caleb Adams singled, putting ULL back up by four.
Southeastern pushed across a run off ULL closer Matt Hicks in the eighth, but couldn't muster any more with the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth.
Hicks picked up his eighth save of the season, nailing down the game for starter and winner Chase Traffica (3-1). Kaleb Manuel (2-2), Southeastern's starter, suffered the loss.
The Lions return to action at 6 p.m. Thursday against Nicholls State in the opener of a split, three-game, Southland Conference series at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.