Louisiana’s Bats Held Quiet In 5-1 Loss to No. 4 Stanford
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns fell to the nationally ranked No. 4 Stanford Cardinal 5-1 to open their weekend games at the Round Rock Classic.
With the loss, Louisiana is now 3-2 this season. The Cajuns had multiple opportunities to score, but they were unable to get much going against a strong Stanford pitching staff. Head coach Matt Deggs was not pleased with his team's performance on offense.
"We did not play our game offensively," Deggs said. "There's too many mistakes to expect to take down a top 10 team. We weren't able to adjust quick enough, and we've got to be better, especially against good teams. It wasn't good baseball on our part offensively."
Max Marusak started things off for Louisiana with a leadoff triple in the first inning. An infield single by Tyler Robertson scored him, and Robertson made it to second base on a wild pitch. Kyle DeBarge bunted him over to third, but a strikeout and line-out stranded him. The Cajuns still took the early lead.
Tommy Ray got the start for Louisiana on the mound, and Stanford opened with a leadoff single. Ray came back for two straight strikeouts, but the first-base umpire called a balk on him, allowing the tying run to enter scoring position. With two outs, the next Cardinal batter hit a two-run homerun to give Stanford the lead, but Ray responded by getting the third out.
Both pitchers bounced back for clean frames in the second inning. After the Cajuns went down in order in the third, Ray gave up two leadoff singles to put runners at the corners without any outs. However, he was able to get a double-play and groundout to limit the threat to one run. Stanford took a 3-1 lead after three.
In the fourth inning, the Cardinal pitcher only needed five pitches to record all three outs. Stanford's starting pitcher responded to the first two hits from Louisiana to open the game by retiring 12 straight Cajun batters.
Ray gave up a leadoff double to start the bottom half of the fourth, and a groundout kept the runner at second. The Louisiana starter was called for his second balk of the game, and the runner advanced to third with one out. That ended up being the difference in the inning, because a fly-out scored the run instead of advancing the runner from second to third. Ray finished it with a strikeout.
With one out in the fifth, Warnner Rincones recorded Louisiana's first hit since the first inning with a double. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but, for the second time in the game, the Cajuns had a runner on third with one out and were unable to score him. A strikeout and an excellent defensive play on a line-out ended Louisiana's threat.
Dylan Theut replaced Ray in the fifth inning. He was excellent out of the bullpen for the Cajuns. After giving up a leadoff double, Louisiana's catcher Julian Brock caught the runner on the base paths for the first out. Theut came back with a fly-out and a strikeout.
Marusak got injured to start the sixth, and Heath Hood pinch hit for him. Hood was able to get a leadoff single, but he was picked off at first base. A groundout and flyout stole all the momentum back for Stanford. Theut threw another clean inning with some excellent defense behind him.
Neither team recorded a base runner in the seventh inning. Theut got a strikeout to close out a scoreless frame.
Louisiana stranded a runner at second base in the eighth, and Stanford instantly added to their lead with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. Bo Bonds and Chipper Menard combined to finish off the Cardinal batters. The Cajuns got a two-out walk in the final frame, but a strikeout ended the game.
Louisiana's pitching staff played a good game against one of the nation's best teams. The offense struggled, only going 1-6 with runners in scoring position, and that one hit was Robertson's first inning single that scored the only run of the game. They didn't record a single two-out hit.
Up next, Louisiana plays Indiana in their second game of the weekend at the Round Rock Classic. The game is set to start at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.