LAFAYETTE, La. – The Coastal Carolina baseball team put a runner on base in all but one inning but couldn’t get a timely hit in a 7-0 loss to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Monday afternoon at Russo Park in Lafayette, La.
The shutout loss is the first for the Chants since falling to Louisiana at home by a score of 10-0 back on May 3, 2019. Coastal falls to 14-9 overall with the loss, while Louisiana improves to 14-11 with the win.
The game was a non-conference game and not part of the three-game Sun Belt Conference series over the weekend. The Chanticleers have won just one game in each of their four series all-time versus the Ragin’ Cajuns since joining the Sun Belt in 2017.
The loss goes to sophomore Casey Green (0-1), as the right-handed pitcher struggled from the get-go, allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits, two hit batters, one strikeout, and a throwing error over 4.0-complete innings.
For Louisiana, senior starter Jack Burk (2-0) picked up the win, as he held Coastal scoreless on just one hit, two walks, two hit batters, and eight strikeouts in 5.0-complete innings. Freshman outfielder Billy Underwood (1-for-2, 2B, BB, HBP) had the lone hit of the game for the Chants, a double in the fifth, while Alex Gattinelli (HBP, FC, E), Cooper Weiss (2 BB), Eric Brown (WP), and Parker Chavers (E) all reached base in the loss. The one hit for the game is the lowest of the season for the Chants this year. Coastal had 14 strikeouts at the plate, compared to just five by the Ragin’ Cajuns.
The Chants left nine runners on base, while Louisiana left 11 on. For Louisiana at the plate, Carson Roccaforte (4-for-5, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) led the way with four base hits and three RBIs, while Connor Kimple (2-for-2, 2B, HBP, RBI, run) had two base hits. Bren Breaux (1-for-3, BB, RBI), Drak Osborn (0-for-2, BB), and Kevin Fitzgerald (0-for-2, BB, RBI) each had one RBI on the day.
The Ragin’ Cajuns used a little two-out magic once again in the bottom of the first on Monday, as a hit batter, a stolen base, and a single to right field all with two outs put the home team on the scoreboard first at 1-0.
Louisiana doubled its lead at 2-0 on a squeeze play in the bottom of the second and looked ready to add a few more runs in the at-bat before a heads up play on a slow ground ball to third base saw Weiss throw out the lead runner at home and then a strikeout by Green end the inning to strand two Cajuns on base.
While the Chants stranded one runner on base in each of the first three innings, the Cajuns continued to find ways to score, as the home team picked up back-to-back two-strike RBI singles after a lead-off double, a sacrifice bunt, and a Coastal throwing error to tack on two more runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead into the fourth inning of play.
Coastal put two runners in scoring position on second and third in the top of the fifth inning on a walk and a two-out double by Underwood but was unable to get a run across as a strikeout ended the inning.
The Chants aided in Louisiana adding to its lead in the bottom of the seventh, as a hit-by-pitch, a single, and a catcher interference loaded the bases with two outs.
The Coastal pitching staff then walked the next two hitters to allow two more runs to come in and push the home team’s lead out to 6-0 with two innings to play.
In the eighth, the Chants had three players reach base on two Louisiana errors and a wild pitch on a strikeout, yet saw a 6-4-3 double play and a ground ball back to the pitcher end the inning and keep the visitors scoreless through eight innings.