The dream comes true for UL's Frank with walk-off homer

Tim Buckley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

He led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a solo home run to left, the walk-off winner in UL’s 7-6 victory over Tulane on Tuesday night.

It was the moment Ragin’ Cajuns freshman Colton Frank has lived for.

“It felt great, man,” Frank said. “All the hard work, hitting in cages.

“I’ve just been very hard on myself since a young age, and, I don’t know, I guess it paid off.

“All glory to God, too. That’s first. It’s just a dream come true,” Frank added. “I wrote when I was 5 years old, on the refrigerator, I wanted to play baseball at UL, and …”

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UL's Colton Frank celebrates his game-winning home run in a 7-6 victory over Tulane.

With that, the product of LaGrange High in Lake Charles was doused by teammates with a full bucket of ice water.

A shaving-cream pie to the face followed from a team manager, and Frank picked up right where he left off talking on M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.

“I told my grandmother when she died in 2015 that I was going to sign at UL – get, you know, an offer from UL, and I got it that summer,” he said. “So it’s just a dream come true, man. It’s unbelievable what God can do in peoples’ life, when they work hard and they never give up.

“I mean, look at me: I didn’t get many at-bats,” he added, “but with the help of my brothers, my coaches, my parents, God, just friends from childhood, it’s just paid off. Everything paid off.”

Frank – who entered the game as a replacement in left field and can also play first base – went into the night with just seven at-bats over six games this season.

The hit was his first as a Cajun.

“Out of all the freshmen, we came back after the fall and said, ‘He’s a keeper,’” UL coach Tony Robichaux said, adding that the youngster showed some pop with his bat during fall ball. “What we like about him is the team loves him, he’s got a great infectious attitude and he’s mentally tough. And when you’re mentally tough, you’re a keeper.”

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Hayden Cantrelle took a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first and later scored as Todd Lott reached on an error.

The now 12-14 Cajuns left the bases loaded in the third, leaving it 1-0.

UL starter Jack Burk worked 4.0 scoreless innings with just four hits allowed. 

Todd Lott’s two-RBI single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth scored Nathan Camp and Cantrelle, and Brennan Breaux came across when Handsome Monica hit into a double play to make it 4-0.

Tulane (17-8) tied with Kody Hoese's ground-rule, RBI-double and Grant Mathews’ three-run homer in the fifth, both off reliever Chance Stone. Before the top of the inning was done, Jonathon Artigues delivered a two-RBI ground-rule double that put the Green Wave up 6-4.

UL manufactured a run in the sixth, when Cantrelle walked, stole second, then scored on a throwing error to third as he stole that bag too.

More:Key to streak for Cajun Cantrelle is in his back pocket

The Cajuns tied it in the bottom of the seventh, when Camp’s single scored pinch-runner Alex Hannie from second. Hannie entered after pinch-hitter Tremaine Spears reached on single of his own.

UL, however, stranded two in the inning as Cantrelle flew out to end it.

The Cajuns then turned a 4-6-3 to get out of the top of the eighth, but they stranded a man in the bottom of the inning.

Tulane proceeded to strand two in the top of the ninth as Michael Leaumont (1-3) closed, and Frank finished the rest.


Cantrelle on Tuesday was named both Sun Belt Conference and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Week for last week, when he hit for the cycle in a win over Northwestern State and had at least one hit in each game.

More:Cantrelle becomes fourth Ragin' Cajun to hit for the cycle


Neither left fielder/first baseman Daniel Lahare (sprained ankle) nor second baseman Hunter Kasuls (shoulder) played Tuesday. Camp started at second and Jordan Wiley in left. Kasuls has deep muscle bruise, according to Robichaux. There had been fears of a rotator cuff injury. 


Cantrelle extended his hitting streak to 14 games in a row with a single in the inning. … Camp’s seventh-inning RBI was the freshman’s first as a Cajun. … Attendance: 4,624.


UL opens a three-game Sun Belt series Friday night at Troy.