Cougars fall in a slugfest with Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday
LAFAYETTE, La. — BYU baseball lost 11-10 in an offensive slugfest to Louisiana on Saturday afternoon in the final game of a four-game series at M.L. Moore Field at Russo Park in Lafayette.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who were an NCAA baseball regional qualifier in 2022, improved to 6-1 on the season, while the Cougars dropped to 2-6.
“We gave ourselves a lot of chances to win throughout the series but couldn’t find a way to finish some close games,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “It’s early and we’ll learn from these experiences and get better. We look forward to heading home and getting back to work.”
• Louisiana scored 11 runs on 10 hits, while BYU had 10 runs on nine hits
• The Cajuns hit .333 (10-30) versus the Cougars at .257 (9-35)
• BYU designated hitter Safea Mauai had two home runs, three RBI and scored three runs, while shortstop Brock Watkins had two doubles, four RBI and scored once.
• Brock Watkins: 2-3, 2 2B, 4 RBI, Run
• Safea Mauai: 2-4, 2HR, 3 RBI, 3 Runs
• Tate Gambill: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 Runs
• Beck: 2 IP, 3 SO, 1 Hit, 0 Runs
BYU got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning on a double by Watkins that scored Luke Anderson and Austin Deming who had both walked. Louisiana cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own making the score 2-1
The Ragin’ Cajuns jumped out to a lead in the second with three runs on a walk, a hit batter and a single for a 4-3 advantage.
BYU responded by retaking the lead with five runs in the third inning. Watkins got the scoring started with his second double of the day, once again scoring Anderson and Deming. Mauai then homered over the left center wall to bring in Watkins. Jacob Wilk then doubled down the third-base line to drive in Tate Gambill who had walked and stole second, giving the Cougars a 7-4 lead.
Louisiana responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third on a walk and three hits to even the score at 7-7.
After two scoreless innings, the Cajuns retook the lead in the sixth with two runs on a hit batter, a walk and a double down the left-field line for a 9-7 lead.
The Cougars cut the lead to 9-8 on a solo home run by Mauai in the top of the seventh—his second of the afternoon, but Louisiana answered with a home run of its own in the bottom half of the inning to push the lead to 10-8.
The Cajuns picked up another run in the eighth on a single and a double for an 11-8 advantage.
BYU made it close in the ninth with a one-out walk by Mauai, followed by a home run to right-center by Tate Gambil to pull within one. Louisiana closer Carson Fluno then entered the game and got the final two outs for the save and an 11-10 Cajun victory.
Relief pitcher Cooper Rawls (2-0) recorded the win for the Cajuns, while Jake Porter (0-2) took the loss for BYU. Three of the four games in the Louisiana series were determined by one run.
The Cougars return home after eight-straight games in the state of Louisiana for a midweek game scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Utah Valley. BYU will then host Omaha in a three-game series scheduled for March 2-4 at Miller Park in Provo.
BYU third baseman Austin Deming was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft at Lumen…