Cantrelle’s Blast Walks Off Warhawks, 4-3
Freshman Hayden Cantrelle blasted a homer to the opposite field in the tenth inning to lead the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns past the ULM Warhawks, 4-3 in ten innings before a paid crowd of 4,671 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park Thursday night.
The win, combined with a Little Rock loss to Arkansas State, put Louisiana (31-23, 16-12 Sun Belt) 1.5 games ahead of the Trojans with two games left in the race for the West Division title.
Dylan Moore (4-3) pitched two innings of shutout ball to get the win, while ULM relief specialist Keegan Curtis (3-2) took the loss.
"We said back in the fall we though Hayden would play above his chronological age," head coach Tony Robichaux said, "and he's done it all season long." Cantrelle had three hits and finished a single short of the cycle.
ULM (23-19, 10-18) got on the board off Cajuns' starter Colten Schmidt in the first inning on a two run single by Brendon Jordan, one of four hits given up by the Cajuns' ace in the first inning.
The Cajuns squared the game in the second against ULM starter Trey Jeans when Zach Lafleur doubled with one out and stole third as Jonathan Windham walked. A throwing error allowed Lafleur to score while Windham took second and the Cajuns got the equalizer on Kole McKinnon's double off the glove of ULM second baseman Pierce Kahn.
Louisiana took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on McKinnon's third homer of the season, but ULM tied the game in the fifth on Will Daniels' RBI single.
Schmidt worked eight innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine. ULM failed to get a base runner off Schmidt after the fifth inning. Jeans exited after 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and three runs, two earned. He walked three and struck out three. Three relievers kept the Cajuns off the board before Curtis entered in the ninth.
The Cajuns squandered chances in the fifth and sixth innings, stranding five base runners over the two frames and it looked like that might cost them in the tenth when Turner Francis singled with one out, his third hit of the game, and Johnny DeLaCruz followed with a double over the Cajuns' outfielders. But Moore battled back after an intentional walk to Chad Bell to load the bases, striking out Daniels and getting Jordan on a called third strike.
'Im so happy for him (Moore)," Robichaux said. "He got off to a tough start and we had to bypass him for a while. But he kept working and he's been awfully good for us down the stretch."
The win was the 23rd in a row for the Cajuns over the Warhawks, who haven't beaten Louisiana since the final game of the 2012 season. Louisiana goes for the series win and the West Division title tomorrow at 6:00 pm. Hogan Harris will get the start for the Cajuns, who will honor their seniors in pregame ceremonies.