LAFAYETTE – Jeff Wilson scattered four hits and struck out four in eight solid innings of work and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns got timely hits from Warnner Rincones and Max Marusak in the fifth inning to earn a 5-1 win over Georgia Southern in the finale of a Sun Belt Conference series on Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
CJ Willis came off the bench to go 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a triple as Louisiana (14-13, 4-5 Sun Belt) recorded 11 hits to claim its second straight SBC weekend series. Julian Brock went 2-for-4 and added a two-run home run in the sixth inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Marusak and Kyle DeBarge each recording two hits.
Wilson (2-1), the second Louisiana pitcher to toss 8.0 innings in as many days, worked out of an early jam in the third inning after Parker Biederer hit a one-out, bloop double down the left-field line before moving to third on Jesse Sherrill’s infield single. The senior right-hander responded by inducing Jason Swan into an inning-ending, double-play – one of 13 ground ball outs recorded on the day.
Georgia Southern (18-10, 6-3 Sun Belt) broke a scoreless contest in the fifth when Aaron Thompson led off the inning by connecting for his fifth home run of the season to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
But the lead would be short-lived as Louisiana would respond with three runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Willis, who went 3-for-3, led off the inning when he lined a double inside the third-base line and moved to third after Brock’s foul ball was caught by Swan at first. Rincones then singled off Georgia Southern reliever Ga’Von Wray (5-1) to drive in Willis and tie the game at 1-1 before Marusak would give the Ragin’ Cajuns the lead for good when he connected on his second home run of the series.
That would be enough for Wilson, who would retire the next 11 Georgia Southern batters before getting Christian Avant to fly out to end the eighth after the Eagles placed runners on first and second.
Louisiana added two more runs in the sixth as Willis hit a one-out triple to center off Eagle reliever Thomas Higgins and scored when Brock hit his second home run in the past four games.
Dylan Theut pitched the ninth for Louisiana, striking out the side and helping the Ragin’ Cajuns to their first series win over Georgia Southern since 2016 and the first-ever at home.
Danny Madden went 3.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts in a starting role for Georgia Southern while Wray allowed four hits and three runs in an inning of work. Higgins gave up a pair of runs on three hits in an inning of work for the Eagles while Jake Martin allowed one hit over the final 2.1 innings.
Louisiana will return to action on Tuesday when it opens a five-game roadtrip. The Ragin’ Cajuns will face Louisiana Tech in a pair of midweek games beginning Tuesday before concluding on Wednesday. Louisiana will then return to SBC play beginning on Friday when it travels to face Arkansas State in a three-game series in Jonesboro, Ark.
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