Kats take down Cajuns in 11 innings

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LAFAYETTE, La. – The Sam Houston State baseball team erased a 4-0 deficit to come back for a 5-4 win in 11 innings over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Friday night in the series opener at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.

The Kats (6-2) scored four times in the fifth inning and then scratched across a run in the 11th to back up a stellar pitching effort by the duo of Tyler Davis and Lance Lusk, getting their fifth straight win over the Cajuns (2-8) in the all-time series.

Connor Cooke was the hard-luck loser for the Cajuns as he followed up a 9-strikeout outing by starter Conor Angel to punch out nine hitters of his own, allowing one run on just two hits.

Those two hits did not contribute to the game-winning run, however, as the Kats manufactured that without a hit. Freshman Erick Davila had a pair of hits in the game, but reached base for the fourth time in the game when he was hit by a pitch with one out in the 11th. After Cook was able to get Anthony MacKenzie for the second out, Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs elected to intentionally walk both Colton Cowser and Jack Rogers to load the bases.

That move proved to be fatal for the Cajuns as Cook uncorked his third wild pitch of the game on a 1-1 count to Corbin Vines, allowing Davila to come in to make it a 5-4 Bearkat advantage.

Lusk then had his work cut out for him in the bottom half of the inning after Sebastian Toro led off the inning with a single, his third hit of the night. The Cajuns would move him around to third, but Lusk was able to get Ben Fitzgerald to fly out harmlessly to left field to close out the game.

The Cajuns were able to get out in front in the first inning, taking advantage of a leadoff walk by Hayden Cantrelle when Brennan Breaux brought him home with a 2-out double for a 1-0 lead.

Neither team was able to take advantage of scoring chances in the third, but UL got another shot in the fourth and took full advantage. The Cajuns loaded the bases with one out and Davis got a big out when he retired Cantrelle, but one batter later Fitzgerald doubled into the right-field corner and scored all three runners, pushing the UL advantage to 4-0.

The Kats were then finally able to put something together against Conor Angel, getting four runs across to tie it up. Singles by Gavin Johnson and Davila, got it going and Cowser loaded them up when he was hit by a pitch. Jack Rogers then lined a 2-run single to left field and two batters later a throwing error from Cantrelle at shortstop off the bat of Bryce Holmes plated two more runs to square things up.

Sam Houston will try to clinch its third straight weekend series to open up the year on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when it takes on the Cajuns in the second game of the series. Senior lefty Dominic Robinson is slated to get the ball opposite Cajun righty Brandon Young.