Ragin’ Cajuns give Tony Robichaux his 900th career win

Advocate file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Louisiana-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux watches his team during a game last season. The Ragin' Cajuns got eight innings from pitcher Matt Plitt and defeated Southeastern Louisiana 9-6 on Wednesday at M.L.
Advocate file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Louisiana-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux watches his team during a game last season. The Ragin' Cajuns got eight innings from pitcher Matt Plitt and defeated Southeastern Louisiana 9-6 on Wednesday at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

LAFAYETTE — For the second straight day, Louisiana-Lafayette’s baseball squad broke out the big bats, and the result was a second straight win over Texas-San Antonio.

The Ragin’ Cajuns collected 15 hits in their third straight double-digit-hit game, rallied back from an early 3-0 deficit and scored in six different innings in a 9-6 victory over the Roadrunners on Saturday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

In doing so, the Cajuns (6-1) gave coach Tony Robichaux his 900th career victory — 637 of them with the Cajuns.

“You can’t get anywhere close to this by yourself,” Robichaux said after receiving a surprise cream-pie facial from his son, sophomore pitcher Austin Robichaux. “You have to give the credit to all those assistant coaches and all those players.”

Robichaux gave much of Saturday’s credit to starter Cody Boutte, who helped pitch LSU-Eunice to the NJCAA Division II national title last year. After UTSA (5-2) jumped to a 3-0 lead after four batters on R. J. Perucki’s three-run homer, Boutte shut out the Roadrunners over the next five innings. At one point, he retired 10 batters in a row.

“He did a great job of pitching back in the middle innings,” Robichaux said. “They (UTSA) swing it hard and they keep coming at you ... they force you to do a lot of things.”

The Cajuns had taken an 18-6 win in Friday’s opener. The teams will wrap up the three-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday, with Austin Robichaux getting the start for ULL.

Saturday afternoon, Tyler Girouard’s solo homer in the second inning and Michael Strentz’s two-run double in the third off UTSA starter Brock Hartson (0-1) tied the game. Strentz, who finished with four hits, also doubled in the fifth after Seth Harrison’s single, and Chase Compton’s two-run double chased Hartson and gave ULL the lead for good.

A run-scoring double by Harrison and an RBI single by Strentz in the sixth off reliever Wesley Cox gave the Cajuns a 7-3 lead, and ULL needed every one of those runs when the Roadrunners rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh.

Singles by Jesse Baker and Riley Good and a walk to John Welborn loaded the bases with two out, and Cajun reliever Matt Plitt was greeted by a bases-clearing double that made it 7-6.

Plitt forced a ground-ball out to end the inning, and Cajun closer Matt Hicks allowed only one base runner on a walk. He had two strikeouts in the final two innings for his second save.

ULL got insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings, with singles by Jace Conrad, Girouard and Blake Trahan pushing in one run and Harrison scoring the final run on Conrad’s ground ball in the eighth.

Boutte scattered seven of UTSA’s eight hits while fanning five, while ULL got eight hits off Hartson in four-plus innings.The Cajuns have 35 hits in the series’ first two games, with Trahan collecting six after a four-hit Friday and Strentz, Harrison and Dex Kjerstad each getting five.