Leonards helps lead Cajuns past Demons
NATCHITOCHES – The 14th ranked Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team picked up a 5-3 win against Northwestern State Wednesday night on the road at Brown-Stroud Field.
The Cajuns (4-1) outhit the Demons (1-3) 12-5 in the contest as seven of the nine starters recorded at least one hit in the effort.
“We had a complete team effort today,” associate head coach Anthony Babineaux said. “The whole line up and guys off of the bench and out of the pen all made contributions. This was a tremendous win and a team win no doubt. Hopefully this will carry us over into the weekend.”
Third baseman Ryan Leonards led the squad offensively going 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI, double and scored two runs, while Evan Powell went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a home run.
Senior Matt Hicks earned the win throwing two scoreless innings of relief limiting the Demons to one hit with a strikeout and a walk to improve to 1-0 on the year.
Starter Matt Plitt threw 4.2 innings giving up three runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout in a no decision.
“I thought the pitching staff did a great job today,” Babineaux added. “Plitt did a good job in his start and gave us a chance to win. The guys out of the bullpen came in and did their jobs and closed out the win.”
NSU starter Austin Tanner was tabbed with the loss surrendering three runs on five hits with a strikeout in three innings.
Jace Conrad put the Cajuns on the board in the top of the third with a two-out RBI single to left scoring Blake Trahan from second. After Conrad swiped third, Ryan Leonards singled to center to score Conrad. Wilson capped the scoring for Louisiana in the inning doubling down the left field line to bring in Leonards and make the score 3-0.
Louisiana increased its lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth when Powell singled in Leonards from second.
The Demons cut the advantage to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run single by Chase Daughdrill and a RBI single by Regan Kaufman. Conrad ended the threat making a great play on a ball hit up the middle by C.J. Webster.
After two scoreless innigns, Powell added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth launching a solo home run down the left field line to make the score 5-3 Cajuns.
Wilson would come on in relief in the seventh and throw a scoreless inning for Louisiana holding Northwestern State hitless.
With two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, freshman Reagan Bazar came in and got four of the next five batters out to earn his second save in as many opportunities.
The Cajuns return to action tonight at 6 p.m. in the first of three games against Southern Miss on the road at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss.