UL drops two heartbreakers in doubleheader with Sam Houston State

Special to the Advertiser

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — UL suffered two heartbreaking losses in walk-off fashion on Saturday as Sam Houston State took Game One, 7-5, and Game Two, 9-8, in a doubleheader at Don Sanders Stadium.

The Ragin' Cajuns (1-5) have now been walked-off in three-straight games dating back to their overtime defeat at Louisiana Tech earlier in the week.

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Senior Handsome Monica had arguably the best two-game stretch of his Cajuns career, going 6-for-9 with two home runs and five RBI across the two games. He also added a double in Game Two.

Todd Lott finished 2-for-5 with a double; Hunter Kasuls and Brennan Breaux each went 3-for-9. Overall, UL had 21 hits.

On the mound, Austin Perrin and Dalton Horton both went 6.0 innings, but neither earned a decision. The duo allowed just eight hits on the afternoon.

Sam Houston State's (4-1) Steven Beard and Landon Ausley earned the wins for the Bearkats.

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Game One

Sam Houston State plated the first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the first inning when a Hunter Hearn pop out to center field was deep enough to score Jack Rogers, who opened the game with a lead-off double.

The Cajuns loaded the bases in the top of third and were able to capitalize as Daniel Lahare drew a walk to plate O'Neil Lochridge and tie the game up. However, the Cajuns were unable to inflict anymore damage in the inning.

Orynn Veillon broke the game open in the top part of the fourth inning, launching a two-run homer over the right field wall to score Lott, who singled in an earlier at-bat.

UL scored two more runs in the top part of the seventh as Monica singled to right field to score Kasuls. Two at-bats later, a wild pitch saw Lahare score from third to push the lead to 5-1.

The lead was cut to 5-4 in the bottom half of the seventh when Clayton Harp hit a three-run shot to right field with one out.

Sam Houston State stole the game in the ninth inning when an RBI single from Jaxxon Grisham scored Mac Odom and knotted the game up at 5-5. The dagger came from Harp, who hit his second home run of the game in the next at-bat to score two and steal Game One, 7-5.

Game Two

Monica got the Cajuns off to a great start in Game Two, blasting a solo home run over the right field wall in the second inning to put UL ahead, 1-0.

The lead was doubled in the top of the third inning when Lochridge, who led off with a double to straight-away center, was pushed across home plate by Breaux's single to right field. Monica then went back to work two batters later, crushing his second homer of the day, this time over the left field wall, to push UL's advantage to 4-0.

Sebastian Toro got things going in the fourth inning, smashing a double to straight-away center to score Hayden Cantrelle from first base. Toro then crossed the plate moments later when a throwing error on the Bearkats' first baseman allowed him to score to push the lead to 6-0 after four frames.

UL ran into trouble in the bottom half of the seventh inning when Sam Houston State scored five times on two hits and an error to pull within one run in the game.

Needing a big response, the Cajuns got a jump start from Kasuls, who banged a triple to right center on the first pitch. He was then brought home by Monica, who doubled to left for his fourth RBI of the night.

Monica eventually stepped on home for the third time in the game when Cantrelle flied out to deep left field to extend the lead out to 8-5.

That lead quickly evaporated in the bottom half of the eighth inning when Sam Houston State's Gavin Johnson hit a three-run home run to knot things up at eight runs apiece with one inning to play.

Sam Houston State stole the game away from UL late after a pitch from Brandon Young got away from Toro, scoring Harp from third and sealing a 9-8 victory for the home team.

UL and Sam Houston State close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Sam Houston's Nick Mikolajchak will get the start; the Cajuns' pitcher is currently TBA.