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Blue Raiders Claim 15-10 Slugfest

Louisiana ends their season at 34-23 and will hope for an NCAA Regional at-large bid Sunday

Saturday, May 29, 2004

MOBILE, Ala.- Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns couldn’t catch the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in a Saturday elimination game in the Dodge Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The two teams battled back and forth, but MT would ultimately claim the contest by a 15-10 final. With the loss the Cajuns are out of this year’s tournament finishing the season with a respectable 34-23 record.

Jeff Morgan took the loss finishing the season with a 1-2 record. Morgan allowed three runs on two hits through one and one-thirds innings.

Matt Scott (4-1) tossed one and one-thirds allowing three runs on six hits while qualifying for the win. Danny Bourne threw three and two-thirds innings earning his second save of the year.

Kohrs came out firing strikes retiring the top of the Middle Tennessee lineup in order on three groundballs in the first.

Shane Kemp reached on an infield fielding error and stole second with two gone in the second before Kohrs got Jeff Beachum to pop up to second ending the inning.

Kevin Preau led off the bottom half of the second with a single through the left side before being bunted over to second by a Sport Voorhies sacrifice push. Kline; however, would hold the runner at second getting a strikeout and a routine fly ball to center to end the inning.

Middle Tennessee got their leadoff hitter on in the top of the third when Marcus Taylor was hit with a pitch. Ryan Core threw a strike to Micah Cockrell covering the second base bag to show Taylor his seat after an attempt at a steal.

After striking out Troy Harp, Kohrs put Eric McNamee on with a walk just before Chuck Akers homered to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead.

The Cajuns cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third on a Brad Saloom RBI single to left. Saloom plated Justin Merendino who singled and took second on a throwing error by MT shortstop Jeff Beachum.

MT cushioned their lead in the fourth when Nate Jaggers walked with one gone in the inning. Jaggers was thrown out at home after Shane Kemp laced a double down the line in left. Josh Landry found the cutoff man in Cockrell who gunned Jaggers down at the plate. Kemp took third on the throw in from Landry.

Beachum doubled in the runner giving Middle Tennessee a 3-1 lead.

The next batter, Taylor, homered off of Kohrs to score Beachum putting the Blue Raiders up 5-1.

Morgan entered the game in relief of Kohrs with two gone in the frame and got the last out when he struck out Harp swinging.

The Cajuns took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fourth starting when Preau homered to lead off the frame pulling the Cajuns to within three at 5-2.

Two outs later, Core doubled through the left side and scored on a Cockrell flare that fell for a single in left. Cockrell’s RBI made it a two run contest.

John Coker was hit with a Kline offering to put Cajuns on first and second and chasing the pitcher in favor of Chase Swing.

Swing started by issuing a free pass to Merendino to load the bases. The new MT pitcher threw one in the dirt that got away from the catcher allowing Cockrell to score.

Landry came through for the Cajuns with a single to right that plated Coker and Merendino giving Louisiana a 6-5 lead.

Brett Carroll homered in the top of the fifth after Akers hit a one-out double to the gap in right-center. Carroll’s 12th homerun of the season gave Middle Tennessee a one-run advantage.

Thad Montgomery came in to pitch in the sixth inheriting a runner and walking a batter. MT went up 8-6 in the frame after a throwing error on a fielder’s choice landed in left allowing a run to score.

Akers singled in the two runners left on base as the Blue Raiders went up 10-6.

UL pulled to within one in the sixth when Coker and Merendino bunted to reach base with a pair of bunt singles. Landry punched a single of his own through the left side to load the bases for Saloom who singled to left scoring two runs to pull the Cajuns to within two.

Buras singled to the wall in center scoring Landry at third inching the score closer at 10-9.

Montgomery started Jaggers and the Raiders with a walk in the top of the seventh prompting a call to the bullpen. Brandt Sanders took the mound for the Cajuns.

Kemp tripled to the wall in center scoring the runner before a passed ball skirted to the backstop allowing Kemp to score from third giving Middle Tennessee a 12-9 lead.

Kraig Schambough came on in relief of Sanders and got a fielder’s choice to get the Cajuns out of the inning.

Middle Tennessee broke the game open with a two-run shot in the top of the eighth off of Cajuns reliever Bubba Olivier. With the homerun, MT took over a 14-9 lead.

A Saloom sacrifice fly in the eighth plated Merendino who singled and took third on a Landry base knock.

In the top of the ninth, Middle got another run when a hit batsman scored from third on a bloop single putting the Blue Raiders up by five. MT clung to that lead as the Cajuns simply ran out of gas in the ninth.

UL Sports Information Release
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