Cajuns baseball drops 3-1 decision to Nicholls

Staff Report

The 13th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team couldn’t overcome miscues Tuesday night as the squad dropped a 3-1 decision to Nicholls in a non-conference game at Ray. E. Didier Field.
“If you take away the three runs we gave them, it’s a 1-0 game, and we come away with a win,” Louisiana Head Coach Tony Robichaux said in a news release. “As bad as we were at the plate, it was a winnable game. It wasn’t a pretty game, but you have to find different ways to win.
“To be a good team, you have to be able to win in many different ways during the season,” Robichaux added.
“This team will get better, but you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you have. If we can just cut out the little mistakes, this is a different game.”
Nicholls (2-2) outhit the Ragin’ Cajuns, 5-2, with shortstop Joey Morales leading the Colonels, going 2-for-3 with a run. Senior first baseman Alex Pinero had Louisiana’s only hits with a 2-for-4 effort, including a double and an RBI.
Nicholls starter Mike Hanchar earned his first victory as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Hanchar tossed seven shutout innings with a career-high nine strikeouts and didn’t allow a Ragin’ Cajuns runner to reach second base.
Freshman right-hander Jack Burk suffered the loss for the Cajuns (1-2) after allowing just one run on two hits in three innings. Burk struck out five and walked one.
Nicholls took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Morales scored on a Burk wild pitch with two outs. Morales reached on a one-out single to center and then moved to third on a walk and wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Colonels added to the lead when Quade Smith was hit by a Chris Charpentier pitch with the bases loaded and two outs to make the score 2-0.
Charpentier, a Berwick High alum and Louisiana senior, pitched 1.1 innings and surrendered an earned run on two hits with two walks and fanned three.
Pinero broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh with a two-out single up the middle.
Nicholls added an insurance run in the bottom of the seven on a Haden Erbe wild pitch that scored Smith from third. Smith was hit by a pitch with one out and then moved to third on a two-base throwing error by Erbe.
The Cajuns got on the board in the top of the ninth on a two-out RBI double to left-center by Pinero, scoring right fielder Steven Sensley from first base.
In the next at bat, reliever Adam Tarver got Kennon Fontenot to ground out to second base to end the contest and pick up his first save of the season.
Louisiana returns to action this weekend as the team heads to No. 18 Sam Houston State for a three-game series in Huntsville, Texas. First pitch Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.

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