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Cajuns’ Late Barrage Buries Jackson State, 15-1

It took a while for the bats to get going Saturday for Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns.

But once they did, Jackson State had no chance.

The Cajuns took the lead for good with a four run fifth inning and scored ten runs over the final two innings to beat Jackson State 15-1 in and elimination game in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field Saturday afternoon.

After being held to just four hits in a loss to Sam Houston State Friday night, the Cajuns pounded out nineteen hits, ten over the final two innings.

JSU starting pitcher Desmond Russell hooked up with Cajuns’ ace Austin Robichaux and the Tigers led 1-0 after four innings.  But Louisiana (42-19) got to Russell in the fourth inning for five hits, including an RBI single by Blake Trahan, a two run double by Tyler Girouard and an RBI single by Chase Compton to take a 4-1 lead.

That was all Robichaux (9-2) would need, as he kept the Tigers (34-22) off the board the rest of the way. Robichaux allowed nine hits, but gave up multiple hits in an inning only once, when Jackson State scored their run.  Stephen Curtis’ RBI single scored Gary Thomas to put JSU on the board.  After a hit batsman, Bryce Taylor singled, but left-fielder Michael Strentz threw a perfect strike to catcher Nick Thurman, who tagged Curtis to retire the side.

The Cajuns finished off Russell by scoring a run in the seventh on a Strentz RBI single and added four more in the eighth, three of them scoring on Jace Conrad’s bases loaded triple.

The Cajuns added six more runs in the ninth off relievers Andre Rodriguez and Ameko Knowles.

Robichaux worked eight innings, walking only one, hitting four batters and striking out eight.  He finished with 117 pitches. Robichaux was helped by the Cajuns’ defense, which turned three double plays.  Matt Plitt worked a perfect ninth to close out the game..

Compton, Girouard, Ryan Leonards and Dex Kjerstad each had three hits to pace the Cajuns’ 19-hit attack.  Kjerstad’s 3-6 day raised his average to .400 on the season and left him just two hits shy of Nathan Nelson’s school record of 101 set in 2000.  Kjerstad also extended his hitting streak to fifteen games, the best individual mark for the Cajuns this season.

Louisiana advances to play Sunday at 2:05 pm against the loser of Saturday night’s game between Sam Houston State and LSU.

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