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Cajuns Wins Late, 4-3

March 28, 2003 · MT Media Relations

LAFAYETTE, La. - Dallas Morris singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth and reliever Kraig Schambough struck out five of the 10 batters he faced, as Louisiana-Lafayette erased a two-run deficit en route to a 4-3 Sun Belt Conference victory over Middle Tennessee Friday night at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

 

The win was the second straight in a comeback effort for the homestanding Ragin' Cajuns, as they scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to take a 9-8 win over 19th-ranked Tulane Wednesday in Lafayette. It was also their first this season against a lefthanded starter, upping their mark to 1-12.

 

The Cajuns (9-20, 2-2 SBC) got a single from Phillip Hawke to leadoff the ninth, though Blue Raider Shane Kemp did a good job in rightcenter to cut the ball off and keep Hawke to one base. Brad Saloom laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing pinch-runner Matt Levering to second. An intentional walk to Kevin Preau set up the force out.

 

Levering advanced to third when an 0-2 curveball from Chase Swing found the dirt and got away from Blue Raider catcher Troy Harp. Morris then singled off the glove of a diving Jeff Beachum at second base, plating the winning run to give Lafayette the victory.

 

Chase Swing (1-3) took the loss for the Blue Raiders, allowing the one run on two hits in one-plus innings. Schambough (3-1) struck out five of the 10 batters he faced and gave up just two hits, working 2.2 scoreless innings to get the victory.

 

The Blue Raiders (10-13, 1-3) got a one-out double from Marcus Taylor in the first to get the first scoring chance, but he was stranded after Brett Carroll and Chris LeGuenec strikeouts. Again Middle Tennessee got a runner in scoring position in the second when Kemp reached on a fielder's choice and went to second when Kevin Ardoin's pickoff throw to first got away. But a Beachum strikeout and a hard lineout to leftfield from Harp ended the threat.

 

But Taylor put the Raiders on the board in the third. Chad Cooper singled with one out and Taylor followed with a double to rightcenter, plating Cooper. Taylor slipped coming around second trying to get back to the bag and was tagged out on the relay throw, but not before the Blue Raiders had a 1-0 lead.

 

Middle Tennessee added to the lead in the fifth, as Chuck Akers beat out an infield single behind the second base bag. The junior went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Cooper's single to leftfield, giving Middle Tennessee a 2-0 edge.

 

The Ragin' Cajuns cut the lead in half in the sixth, as leadoff hitter Corey Coles got a hold of a hanging breaking ball and parked it over the 375-sign in rightcenter, making it 2-1 Blue Raiders.

 

But Middle Tennessee got the run back in the top of the seventh, as Beachum led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt from Harp. Beachum made a heads-up play to get to third, reading a breaking ball in the dirt and moving up when the ball got away from Lafayette catcher Ryan Core.

 

Akers then chopped a single just over the leaping glove of second baseman Saloom, who was drawn-in to try and cut off the run, giving the Blue Raiders a 3-1 advantage. The run chased Cajun starter Ardoin, who allowed nine hits in 6.1 innings, striking out five and allowing three runs.

 

The Cajuns came right back in their half of the seventh, threatening to tie the game. Saloom walked and Preau singled to right, with Saloom moving to third to put runners on the corners with one out. But Blue Raider starter Steve Kline got Morris to ground into a 6-4-3 doubleplay to end the inning and the threat.

 

Lafayette was not done, though, as Coles singled with one out in eighth before Bryan Sneed got a hold of a 1-0 fastball and wrapped it around the rightfield foul pole, tying the game at three and chasing Kline from the contest. The Blue Raider junior allowed three runs on five hits, striking out six with one walk in 7.1 innings. His work was the longest of his career, as he worked into the eighth.

 

Akers had three hits, while Cooper and Taylor each added a pair to pace Middle Tennessee's 11-hit attack. Coles had three of Lafayette's seven hits, scored twice and drove in a run from the leadoff position.

 

The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. Middle Tennessee will start John Williams against Lafayette's Andy Gros on Saturday, while Jordy Templet will start Sunday for the Cajuns against a yet-to-be- determined starter for the Blue Raiders.

 

GAME NOTES

Steve Kline made his sixth start of the year and second in the Sun Belt Conference. It was his first career road SBC start ... Kline worked 7.1 innings, the longest of his career ... Josh Archer extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the second ... Chad Cooper's error in the fourth was his first in eight games and only his second in the last 13 contests ... Cooper extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fifth ... The win was Lafayette's first this season against a lefthander, improving their record to 1-12 on the season.

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