LAFAYETTE, La. -- The third-ranked Ragin' Cajuns overcame an 8-5 deficit to win 12-9 in the series opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. The win is the tenth consecutive against the Warhawks in the series.
"One through nine we did a good job tonight," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We were able to get some guys some rest and we didn't lose anything offensively. We were challenged to overcome some tempo and a deficit. We have been really good at being able to come back all year long, and I am proud of the guys to get the comeback win tonight."
Louisiana moves to 47-7 on the year and 24-4 in conference play with the comeback. The 47 wins moves the Ragin' Cajuns two victories away from tying the school record set three times previously with the last coming in 2000.
Senior Matt Hicks earned his sixth win of the year throwing 2.2 innings in relief with one unearned run after coming into the game in fourth inning. Cajuns pitchers combined to strikeout 15 in the contest led by Hicks and Ryan Wilson who each had five. The five strikeouts for Hicks tied a career best.
"Hicks can do so much for us when he is throwing strikes an working quick on the mound," Robichaux added. "The one thing he can do is turn the moment of the game back around, and that's what he did today."
Wilson notched his seventh save of the season throwing three scoreless innings to close out the game. The senior left-hander retired all nine batters he faced in the outing. Wilson has now recorded a save in six of his last seven appearances.
Alex Dumaine was tabbed with the loss for the Warhawks (22-32, 11-17 Sun Belt) to fall to 3-5 on the year. Dumaine gave up three runs on four hits in two innings of work.
Offensively, seven of the nine Louisiana starters registered a hit led by Caleb Adams who was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Seth Harrison, Tyler Girouard, Chase Compton and Greg Davis each had two hits for the Cajuns. Davis had a game-high four RBI coming on a triple and home run.
Dalton Herrington had three hits for ULM falling a triple short of the cycle with two RBI.
The Cajuns loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first but starter Alex Hermeling struck out Adams and Compton to end the inning.
ULM grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the top of the second on a sac fly by Ross Moore and an RBI double by Justin Stawychny.
Louisiana answered with three runs in the bottom half of the second to take a 3-2 lead. With two outs and two on, Harrison tripled to right center to tie the game at 2-all. Harrison then came home to score on a wild pitch by Harmeling to put the Cajuns in front.
With two outs in the top of the third, Herrington put the Warhawks in front for the second time on the evening with his two-run homer to right. Later in the inning, Jacob Stockton drove in two more runs on a bases-loaded single to center to make the score 6-3.
Davis continued his hot hitting with a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the third to pull the Cajuns within a run. The home run is the second of the season for Davis.
The high scoring affair continued in the fourth with ULM scoring two more runs on a wild pitch and a double by Herrington to extend the lead to 8-5.
The Cajuns pulled within a run in the fourth after an RBI groundout by Jace Conrad and an RBI single to left by Adams.
Trent Lucas made it 9-7 in the top of the fifth on single to right field that scored Stockton from second.
The Ragin' Cajuns regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth plating three runs on three hits and an error. Davis tied the game on a two-run triple to right field. In the next at bat, Dylan Bulter brought Davis home on a squeeze bunt to put Louisiana up 10-9.
Adams gave the Cajuns a two-run lead in the seventh on his third single of the evening as Harrison scored from second on the infield hit to third.
Butler added an insurance run in the eighth inning with a solo blast over the scoreboard in left center to make the final 12-9.
The Cajuns will go for their 15 consecutive weekend series victory at 6 p.m. ET Friday with junior Carson Baranik making the start against ULM. Baranik is one win away from becoming the first Cajuns pitcher to post double-digit wins since 2006.