Georgia State Drops Cajuns, 6-5 in 12 Innings
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns got a taste of their own medicine Friday night as Justin Jones' squeeze bunt brought home Luke Leonard with the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give Georgia State a 6-5 win over the Cajuns in the first game of their three game series at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Leonard singled off Niick Lee (1-5) to open the 12th and stole second. Ronald Greer walked and Kendall Ford then grounded to shortstop. Hayden Cantrelle got the force at second but Kunter Kasuls relay to first was a split second late. Jones then bunted Lee's first pitch as Leonard scampered home with the winning run.
Louisiana (24-20, 10-9 Sun Belt) jumped on Panthers' ace Hunter Gaddis early, plating a pair of runs on Kennon Fontenot's two run single in the first inning and padded the lead on Gavin Bourgeois' two run double in the second. All four of the runs scored with two out. Fontenot extended the lead to 5-0 with a leadoff homer iin the third inning, his third of the season.
But after allowing six hits in the first three frames, Gaddis settled down retiring 13 in a row at one point as he pitched through the seventh inning, which gave Georgia State (21-10, 7-11) a chance to mount a comeback.
Cajuns' starter Colten Schmidt breezed through the first four innings, allowing just one hit, but Leonard singled with one out in the fifth. Romero Greer followed with a single and Ford's single brought in Leonard with the game's first run. Schmidt struck out Jones, but Nick Gatewood, the league's second leading hitter, lauched a three run homer to right center field, his 11th of the season to make the score 5-4.
Both starting pitchers went seven innings, with Gaddis allowing five runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Schmidt allowed six hits and four runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.
Lee came on in the eighth and was greeted by Jones' fifth homer of the season which tied the game at five apiece. Meanwhile, the Panthers' bullpen kept the Cajuns at bay, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out ten batters, giving the Panthers' staff 18 strikeouts for the game. Tyler Koch (1-2) was the winning pitcher, pitching 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 1:00 pm. The game can be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM beginning at 12:30.