Warhawks Rout UL-Lafayette, Clinch No. 5 Seed in Sun Belt Tournament
LAFAYETTE, La. - The ULM baseball team scored a season-high 17 runs on 15 hits, downing UL-Lafayette 17-0 in seven innings Saturday night at "Tigue" Moore Field.
With the win, the Warhawks swept the three-game series against the Ragin' Cajuns and clinched the 5th seed in next week's Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Brandon Alexander singled to center field to open the top of the second inning, and reached second base safely after a throwing error by UL-Lafayette pitcher Joe Zimmerman (0-4) on a ground ball off the bat of Judd Edwards. Alexander and Edwards both moved up on the base paths with dual stolen bases with two outs. Catcher Chris Sinclair lost a 2-2 Zimmerman offering to the backstop, and the passed ball scored Alexander to give ULM (28-27, 15-15 SBC) a 1-0 lead.
Jeremy Sy worked a full-count walk against Zimmerman to lead off the top of the third inning. Caleb Clowers roped a single down the left field line to move Sy to third base. A Joey Rapp single plated Sy and extended the Warhawk advantage to 2-0. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Alexander pushed the lead to 3-0. Edwards kept the momentum rolling by singling to right field and advancing Rapp to third base. Corben Green made the Ragin' Cajuns pay by drilling a double to the gap in right center field to score Rapp and Edwards (5-0).
Kendall Thamm (5-3) retired UL-Lafayette (23-30, 11-19 SBC) in order in the bottom of the third, striking out Sinclair, forcing Logan Preston to ground out to shortstop and inducing a Brian Bowman fly out to center field.
Rapp hit a deep blast over the left field fence in the top of the fifth inning off reliever Derek Howell to move the Warhawks further in front, 6-0. After Alexander crushed a double to the right field corner and Green reached on an infield single, Chris Dudley grooved a 1-0 Howell pitch into left field, scoring Alexander to extend the lead to 7-0. Green then came around to score on an error by the third baseman Preston (8-0) before Aulds worked a 3-1 walk against Ethan Hebert to load the bases. An RBI single up the middle by Sy scored Dudley and pushed the ULM cushion to 9-0. A sacrifice fly from Clowers scored Fiasco (10-0).
Alexander led ULM with a 3-for-4 outing at the plate, scoring a career-high four runs. The junior center fielder batted .778 (7-for-9) with four RBIs during the weekend series. Green chipped in three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored, while Rapp and Clowers each finished with two hits apiece.
Aulds ripped a two-out triple into the right field corner off Kendall Mayer in the top of the sixth inning, scoring Green and Justin Stawychny to extend the ULM lead to 13-0.
Alexander sliced a single up the middle in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with nobody out. Green laced a one-out single up the middle off Ben Frith, scoring Clowers and Rapp (15-0). A sacrifice fly by Dudley and an RBI double down the left field line by Stawychny made the score 17-0.
Thamm allowed one hit in his four full innings, walking none and striking out three batters to earn the win.
ULM is scheduled to face No. 4 seed South Alabama Wednesday at 11 a.m. in its opening game of the Sun Belt Conference Championship.