Right from the start on Sunday afternoon, it was not the Arizona Wildcats day. The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns took an early 3-0 lead, and never looked back, taking the winners' bracket game by a score of 10-3.
Arizona will now face Sam Houston State at 5 PM PT in an elimination game in the Lafayette Regional.
JC Cloney got the start for the Wildcats, and immediately got into trouble.
A walk and bunt single put two runners on for Stefan Trosclair. He would hit the only ball out of the infield in the inning to drive in the first run of the day.
A misplayed bunt allowed the second Ragin' Cajun run to score, and a Bobby Dalbec fielding error loaded the bases.
Alex Pinero followed that up with a sac fly to left, giving Louisiana the 3-0 advantage.
Dalbec was moved to left in the second inning after his error. He got tested right away, but made the catch to pass that exam. He actually did alright out there until a sac fly in the 6th where he had no chance of throwing the runner out at home.
The Cajuns extended their lead to four runs with a Trosclair home run in the third.
With Pedro Gomez in the ESPN booth in the fourth inning, Arizona finally got on the board. It was in the form of a JJ Matijevic RBI double down the left field line.
But the Cajuns answered right back. On what probably should have been an interference call on an attempted double play, Louisiana took a 6-1 lead in the bottom of fourth. A little later in the inning, a seeing eye single made it 7-1.
That would be Cloney's final batter faced as Austin Schnabel took the mound.
Cody Ramer hit a sky-high HR to right just over the fence to make it 7-3 in the fifth. It was just his second HR of the season.
Louisiana then used Arizona's own medicine against it to respond to Ramer's bomb. The Ragin' Cajuns pulled off the two-run squeeze play to make it 9-3. Schnabel was unable to field it cleanly, and when he threw the ball to first lazily, the second run was able to score. That was his last batter faced as Cody Moffett came in, and picked off a runner to end the inning.
Cajun starter Gunner Leger only lasted five innings, but that's all the Louisiana coaching staff needed from him. He gave up five hits and three walks while striking out four Wildcats. Jevin Huval rolled through the Arizona lineup pretty easily after that. He did not allow a hit until the 9th when Casey Bowman picked up a pinch-hit single.
Robby Medel and Tyler Crawford pitched well for Arizona down the stretch, combining for three scoreless innings. Zach Gibbons made a couple of nice plays in right, including this one in the 8th:
NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 5, 2016
The Wildcats will take on the Sam Houston State Bearkats again at 5 PM PT for the right to play the Ragin' Cajuns again on Monday at 11 AM PT. All games are on Watch ESPN.