Cajuns Take WKU Series Final 6-5

Will Long went 2-for-4, including a long RBI double in the bottom of the seventh to help the Cajuns to a 6-5 win over Western Kentucky Sunday.

UL is now 22-27-1 overall and 11-15 in Sun Belt competition. WKU falls to 37-13 overall and 21-6 in league action.

Michael Cook took over with two down in the second inning after a rough start for freshman Matt Lackie, and stopped the Western Kentucky offense in its tracks. After scoring twice in the first and second, Cook held them to six hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings of work with three strikeouts to pick up the win and move to 4-3 on the season.

Starter Matt Lackie experienced some trouble in his first home start of the year. In 1 2/3 innings, he allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits and one walk before giving way to Cook. Blake Haagen finished the game off, setting down both batters he faced in the ninth inning, one on a strikeout, to earn the save and secure the Cajuns' first win since April 28 versus McNeese State.

Louisiana finally got the offense back on track, scoring six runs for the first time since an April 25 win at Troy. Matt Goulas went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and was joined in the multiple hits category by Will Long and Scott Hawkins. Long went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Hawkins was 2-for-2 with two intentional walks and a run scored.

Kyle Bostick added two RBIs in the first inning and went 1-for-3 on the day, while Les Smith had an RBI despite an 0-for-3 outing at the plate. Greg Fontenot rounded out the RBI column with one on 1-for-3 hitting. Tyler Benzel finished off the hit column with one in four at bats.

Defensively, the Cajuns committed two errors but neither was costly, and Chad Keefer displayed a strong arm behind the plate, extinguishing both Hilltopper stolen base attempts.

Matt Lackie got off to a tough start with four straight balls, walking the first hitter of the game. A triple brought the leadoff-man home, and a double scored a second run to give WKU a quick 2-0 advantage.

The Cajuns struck back in the bottom half of the inning, pushing five across the plate on four hits and an error. After Alex Fuselier struck out to open the game, Matt Goulas, Will Long and Scott Hawkins all singled to load the bases. WKU shortstop Terrence Dayleg mishandled a Chad Keefer grounder to allow Goulas to score and keep the bases loaded. Shaken, Hilltopper starting pitcher Shane Cameron walked Smith to force a run home. Kyle Bostick then singled to score Hawkins and Keefer before Greg Fontenot hit an RBI groundout to add the fifth run of the frame. Tyler Benzel grounded out to second to end the inning, the Cajuns ahead 5-2.

WKU reduced the deficit to 5-4 with two runs in the second inning, with a leadoff home run from designated hitter Casey Dykes, a double into right field off the bat of second baseman Matt Payton, and an RBI single by centerfielder Jeremy Coleman. Michael Cook took over and hit the first batter he faced, but then settled in to keep the Toppers controlled until the seventh.

WKU tied things up with a run in the seventh thanks to a leadoff double by first baseman Jake Wells, who came around on singles from Payton and left fielder Matt Hightower.

The Ragin' Cajuns broke the tie in the bottom of the frame when Matt Goulas reached and got to second on a dropped third strike and throwing error on WKU catcher Matt Rice. From second, Goulas scored on a long double to right center courtesy Will Long. That put UL ahead 6-5, and Cook and Haagen combined to keep the score there to finish the game.

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