– Left fielder Caleb Adams slugged a pair of two-run homeruns as second-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette survived a wild ninth inning to eliminate third-seeded Sam Houston State, 7-5, and advance to the championship round of the Baton Rouge Regional on Sunday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (43-19) will now face top seed LSU (54-9) at 7 p.m. The Tigers need only one win to advance to super regional play. Should UL-Lafayette defeat LSU on Sunday evening, a winner-take-all game will be played at 7 p.m. Monday. The Tigers will be the designated visiting team in the nightcap and occupy the third base dugout.
Sam Houston State, champions of the Southland Conference, concluded its season with a 38-22 record. The Bearkats broke a scoreless tie when they struck for three runs in the second inning highlighted by a Ryan Farney two-run homer off ULL starter Cody Boutte, who lasted just 1.2 innings.
The Cajuns immediately answered in the top of the third when they took advantage of two Bearkat errors. Adams crushed the first of his two homers, a two-out, two-run shot into the right field bleachers.
Sam Houston starter Andrew Godail (5-4) suffered the tough luck loss, allowing five runs – none of which were earned – while walking three and striking out seven.
UL-Lafayette reliever Matt Plitt (4-1) picked up the win in relief, working seven innings and allowing only two runs on four hits.
Adams finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and his homer in the ninth proved to be valuable. The Cajuns took a 7-3 advantage into the final frame, but Sam Houston State kept its hopes alive with a two-out rally.
Anthony Azar cranked a solo homer and the Bearkats loaded the bases on Shea Pierce’s fielder’s choice infield single. With the tying run at second, Cajun shortstop Blake Trahan made the play of the game and the final out when he held on to Jessie Plumlee’s shallow pop up down the left field line. Trahan’s grab prevented the tying runs and potential go-ahead run from scoring.