No. 3 UL Wins Sun Belt Championship

TROY – No. 3 Seed Louisiana won the 2015 Sun Belt Baseball Championship as junior Stefan Trosclair launched a 12th-inning, game-winning grand slam to lead the Ragin' Cajuns to a 5-1 victory over No. 1 seed South Alabama Sunday afternoon at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, Ala.

The 12th inning started when UL junior Joe Robbins singled through the left side of the infield. After a sacrifice bunt, South Alabama intentionally walked Sun Belt Player of the Year Blake Trahan . After a groundout moved the runners into scoring position, the Jaguars intentionally walked junior Kyle Clement to load the bases and bring up Trosclair. The right handed hitting second baseman hit a no-doubt home run over the scoreboard in right field to give the Cajuns the Sun Belt title.

The grand slam broke up a fantastic pitcher's duel between the two teams. Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Kevin Hill started the game on two days rest for South Alabama and threw 95 pitches over six innings as he only gave up five hits, two walks, and one run. Senior Ben Taylor (6-3), who only gave up two hits in his first five innings of relief, took the loss as he gave up the grand slam in the 12th.

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Gunner Leger started for the Ragin' Cajuns on three day's rest and surrendered one run on five hits in eight innings. Senior Greg Milhorn (4-1) earned the win as he only allowed one hit and one walk over four innings of relief.

The Cajuns got on the board in the first inning as Clement hit a two-out double that dropped into the right field corner. He then came home as Trosclair smoked a ball back up the middle for a RBI single to make the score 1-0.

South Alabama (37-20) loaded the bases with one out in the second as sophomore Mike Bolger singled to right and senior Cole Gleason reached on a throwing error by UL junior third baseman Brenn Conrad. Junior Daniel Martinez walked before Leger induced a ground ball from freshman Jared Barnes to get out of the jam. Barnes bounced the ball to Conrad who redeemed himself by stepping on third and throwing out the runner at first.

South Alabama evened things up in the third inning as sophomore Cole Billingsley hit a sharp grounder to the right side of the infield to reach first. Junior Ben Gann then hit an opposite field line drive down the rightfield line for a double which scored Billingsley.

The Jaguars stranded Billingsley at third base in the fifth inning as he reached on a walk before he was sacrificed to second and stole third with one out. Senior Bud Collura hit a high bouncer back to the mound and Leger made a leaping grab to keep Billingsley from scoring. Leger then induced a flyout to end the threat and keep the score knotted at one.

Louisiana (39-21) almost took the lead in the 10th inning as senior Greg Davis led off the inning with a double down the right field line. Freshman Jam Williams pinch ran for Davis and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After Trahan was intentionally walked, Conrad lined a ball into left field which was caught by senior Adam Ballew. Ballew then fired home to nail Williams at the plate on a sweep tag by senior catcher Davis Knapp.

Trosclair finished the game 2-for-3 with one run and five RBIs. The Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player tied a tournament record with 13 RBIs over the Cajuns' five games. He tied a mark set by Ryan Ditthardt (Troy) and Raymond Church (FAU) in the 2010 tournament . Trahan was 2- for-4 with a run while Clement collected two hits and two runs for the Ragin' Cajuns.

Cole Billingsley finished 2-for-4 with South Alabama's only run. Senior Cole Gleason also finished with two hits.

The Ragin' Cajuns won their second straight and third overall Sun Belt Tournament Championship. They are the first team to win back- to-back Sun Belt Championships since South Alabama did it in 2000 and 2001. UL is also the first team since 2010 to lose the opening game of the tournament and work its way through the losers' bracket to win the championship.

Louisiana moves to 9-6 against South Alabama in Sun Belt tournament play and the two teams are now even at 1-1 when they meet in the Sun Belt Championship game. South Alabama won the 1997 championship at the Cajuns expense.

UL awaits its fate as the NCAA will announce the bracket for the 2015 tournament on Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

Most Outstanding Player Stefan Trosclair, Louisiana

Sun Belt All-Tournament Team

Zach George Arkansas State Chandler Hawkins, Arkansas State Matt Rose, Georgia State Adam Ballew, South Alabama Cole Billingsley, South Alabama Kevin Hill, South Alabama Kyle Clement, UL, Gunner Leger, UL Dylan Moore, UL Ryan Raspino, South Alabama Levi Scott, UT Arlington Scott Grist, Texas State David Paiz, Texas State

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