LAFAYETTE, La. (4/15/16) – Joe Robbins walk-off squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning propelled Louisiana to a 3-2 victory over Arkansas State Saturday afternoon at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
The Red Wolves (19-17, 7-8) and Ragin’ Cajuns (21-14-1, 10-4-1) were tied going into the ninth inning, but UL scored the winning run when Robbins laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Ishmael Edwards who broke for home on the pitch to the home team the series sweep.
The teams were tied for much of the game after Louisiana scored two runs in the second inning, but A-State responded with two of their own in the third. After that game turned into a pitching battle with both team’s bullpens battling through tough situations.
The Ragin’ Cajuns struck first with two runs in the bottom of the second inning after stringing together three straight hits. Brenn Conrad drove in both run on a 2-run single that plated Kennon Fontenot and Alex Pinero, who had singled and doubled to start the inning.
A-State answered Louisiana in the third inning when Grant Hawkins sent a double down the right field line to score Alex Howard. Joe Schrimpf followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Drew Tipton. Garrett Rucker followed with a walk and wild pitch allowed Rucker and Hawkins to advance into scoring position but they pair was left stranded when Justin Felix struck out to end the inning.
The Red Wolves had another scoring opportunity in the fourth inning when the team loaded the bases with two outs inning after Winston Welch collected his first hit of the season, but Hawkins flew out to end the inning before a run could be pushed across.
Mitzel got some help from his defense in the fourth inning when he threw over to first base in a pickoff attempt. The UL runner from third broke for home on the throw and Schrimpf fired the ball back to Felix at the plate in plenty of time to tag out the runner to keep the score tied. Mitzel also had a pickoff in the third inning, his second of the season.
The A-State junior ran into trouble in the fifth inning after giving up a leadoff double and then sacrifice bunt moved the runner third. Tanner Kirby entered the game in relief of Mitzel and after issuing a walk to the first batter he faced, got a lineout and then struck out Robbins Joe Robbins looking to get out of the inning.
Mitzel gave up two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Kirby worked out trouble in the sixth inning after he had runners on first and third with just one out in the inning. The Red Wolves elected to issue an intentional walk to Brenn Conrad, but on the third pitch of the at-bat, Kirby threw wide and the ball bounced off the backstop, but Felix retrieved the pitch and threw home to Kirby who tagged out the runner trying to score from third. Kirby later loaded the bases in the inning, but got a fly out to end the inning and keep the score tied at 2-2.
A-State returns to the diamond on Friday, April 21st when it hosts South Alabama for the start three-game series at Tomlinson Stadium.
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