LAFAYETTE, La. - The ULM baseball team scored four runs in the top of the third and fourth innings, and starter Randy Zeigler pitched a gem in an 8-2 Sun Belt Conference victory over UL-Lafayette Thursday night at "Tigue" Moore Field.
Corben Green laced a leadoff double to opposite field in left in the top of the second inning against UL-Lafayette starter Jordan Nicholson (3-7). Brandon Alexander laced a 1-0 Nicholson offering through the right side to move Green to third base on the single. Nicholson struck out Taylor Abdalla swinging and Logan Fiasco looking to end the frame and strand the runners on base.
Green drilled a hard single up the middle in the top of the third inning, scoring Jeremy Sy from third base to give ULM (26-27, 13-15 SBC) a 1-0 lead. Nicholson hit Judd Edwards with a two-strike pitch to load the bases. Alexander roped a bases-clearing single to right field, upping the Warhawk lead to 4-0.
Chris Sinclair blasted the first pitch he saw from Zeigler (5-6) in the bottom of the third inning over the right field wall, cutting the Ragin' Cajun (23-28, 11-17 SBC) deficit to 4-1.
The Warhawks took a 5-1 lead after Les Aulds blasted his first home run of the season over the right center field wall in the top of the fourth, chasing Nicholson from the contest. Clowers roped a single through the middle off reliever Cord Cockrell to score Sy from second base and extend the ULM advantage to 6-1. Joey Rapp followed with a hard-hit extra base knock over the head of UL-Lafayette right fielder Dylan Butler and the triple scored Clowers (7-1). Green plated Rapp with a sacrifice fly to center field that made the score 8-1.
Alexander reached base in four of his five plate appearances (three hits) to pace the ULM offense, driving in three runs. Clowers added three hits and two runs scored, while Aulds, Sy and Green chipped in two hits apiece.
Zeigler retired the side in order in the bottom of the fourth inning, forcing Butler, Daniel Nichols and Logan Preston to all pop out in the infield to end the frame.
Zeigler allowed five hits in his 132 pitches, walking three and striking out nine Ragin' Cajun hitters.
Jordan Borque smashed the first pitch from Zeigler over the left field wall in the bottom of the sixth inning, bringing UL-Lafayette within six runs (8-2).
Zeigler cruised through the bottom of the seventh inning, striking out Sinclair and Tyler Fredrick looking to retire the side in order.
Rapp drew a four-pitch walk to open the top of the ninth inning, and moved all the way to third base on groundouts by Green and Edwards. Alexander kept the inning alive by working a full-count walk off reliever Jordan Harrison with two outs. Harrison forced Abdalla to ground out to third base to end the frame.
Zeigler retired the Ragin' Cajuns in order in the bottom of the ninth to ice the complete game victory.
Chase Compton led UL-Lafayette with two hits. Nicholson surrendered five earned in 3.1 innings to take the loss.
Game two of the three game set is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.