Big Inning Gives UL 16-7 Triumph

May 15, 2005 · MT Media Relations
LAFAYETTE, La. - John McCarthy had four hits and Phillip Hawke drove in four runs, as 18th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette used two big innings to break open the game in a 16-7 victory over Middle Tennessee Sunday afternoon at 'Tigue' Moore Field.

The Ragin' Cajuns win the series with the victory and reduce their magic number to one for winning the regular season Sun Belt championship.

The two teams played a see-saw affair until a four-run fifth inning gave for UL gave the home team a 9-3 advantage. But the Blue Raiders tallied single runs in the sixth and eighth innings and two runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to three at 10-7, but the Cajuns netted six runs in the eighth for the final margin.

McCarthy had two singles, a double and a triple, while Hawke homered and drove in four runs in the final home game for 16 UL seniors. The Cajuns (44-12, 15-6 Sun Belt) pounded out 18 hits in the contest after collecting 23 on Saturday.

The big day for the home team negated a four-hit day from Middle Tennessee's Jeff Beachum, tying a career-high. Josh Archer also had a good day, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run.

UL starter Hunter Moody worked four innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walking two and striking out two. Ace reliever Kraig Schambough (5-1) picked up the win, though the righthander was knocked around for three runs on six hits in three-plus innings of work.

Blue Raider starter Chase Swing (1-3) suffered the loss, giving up six runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Josh Anderson and Jeff Kasser faced four batters, getting no one out and allowing three runs on three hits. Allan Woodward worked three-plus innings, walking three and striking out four and allowing only one run while he was in the game.

The Blue Raiders (26-22, 10-10) struck first for the third straight game, scoring twice in the first on a pair of hits.

Eric McNamee drew a leadoff walk, his 49th of the season, and stole second. The senior scored on Michael McKenry's bloop single in short rightfield near the line. Jeff Beachum then laced a double over the leftfielder's head, and McKenry scored from first on the play for a 2-0 lead. The inning ended when John Coker crashed into the centerfield wall, holding onto a long drive off the bat of Nathan Hines.

The Cajuns came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning on three hits. Coker singled to leadoff and Justin Merendino reached when Adam Warren lost a high pop in short leftfield, putting two runners on base. Coker was thrown out trying to steal third, but Josh Landry walked. Dallas Morris then ripped a double off the base of the leftfield wall, plating both runners to tie the score at two.

UL took the lead with a solo homer from Landry with two outs in the bottom of the third, the senior's seventh round-tripper of the year.

But the Raiders came right back to knot the contest, with Hines drawing a one-out walk in the fourth. Josh Archer then laced a double into rightcenter, his second two-bagger of the game, plating Hines easily to tie the game at three.

The back-and-forth battle continued in the bottom of the inning, with McCarthy tripling into rightcenter before Hawke lined a two-out pitch over the wall in rightfield for his 10th homer of the season, giving UL a 5-3 advantage.

The Cajuns broke the game open in the fifth, starting with a leadoff single from Coker. Landry's double scored Coker and Morris singled to put runners on the corners. Jonathan Lucroy then bounced a ball to short that was booted by Beachum, allowing a run to score and again putting runners on the corners.

McCarthy then doubled into leftcenter, scoring two runs for a 9-3 UL lead. The side was retired without any further damage, but not before Middle Tennessee used four pitchers in the inning.

Archer continued his perfect day with a solo homer to left in the sixth, his third of the season.

The Raiders cut into the deficit again in the seventh, starting with a pair of two-out walks to Nate Jaggers and McKenry. Beachum's second double of the game plated one run, and Hines' single to right scored McKenry, cutting the UL lead to 9-6. Archer then chopped a ball to Hawke at first, who jumped and made a snowcone catch, getting the out at first to end the inning and the rally.

UL plated a run in the bottom of the inning when McCarthy singled and Micah Cockrell walked. After an intentional walk to Hawke, Justin Morgan scored McCarthy with a sacrifice fly to right for a 10-6 Cajuns advantage.

McNamee's solo home run with two outs in the eighth, his third of the year, cut the deficit back to three runs.

But the Cajuns erupted for six runs in the eighth for the final margin, including an RBI single from McCarthy, a two-run double by Hawke and a two-run triple from Merendino.

The Blue Raiders play the final weekend series of the season at home against New Mexico State, May 20-22.

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