Lafayette, La. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Louisiana-Lafayette scored three runs in three separate innings as Arkansas State fell to the Ragin' Cajuns 11-4 Friday night at Tigue Moore Field.
Louisiana-Lafayette jumped out in front with five runs through the first two innings to take the early lead, but the Red Wolves (24-22, 10-12 SBC) fought back and closed the lead to three in the third inning.
The bottom half of the order provided the offense for A-State in the inning. The Red Wolves were able to string together three straight hits and score two runs to cut the Louisiana-Lafayette (32-15, 13-9 SBC) lead to 5-2. Alex Potts started things by reaching on an infield single when he slid into first base to give ASU its second hit of the game.
Dustin Jones followed with a triple off the wall in left field that scored Potts and give Arkansas State its first run of the game. It was the second triple of Jones' career and his second in as many weekends. Collin Massanelli then drove in Jones with a single to right field to cut the Ragin' Cajuns lead to 5-2.
Louisiana-Lafayette would respond in the bottom half of the inning, however, scoring two runs on three hits and one error in the inning to push its lead to 7-2.
ASU had a scoring opportunity in the fifth inning when Austin Baker reached base after being hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and Massanelli collected his second single of the game to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Kevin Fitzpatrick flew out to left field to end the threat.
The Red Wolves cut the lead to 8-4 in the seventh inning when the bottom half of the order delivered again for A-State with three straight hits to right field. Potts started the two-out rally with a single through the right side and Jones followed with an RBI double to right center field. Massanelli then drove in a run with a single through the right side to cut the lead to 8-4 and advanced into scoring position on throw home from the ULL outfield.
The Ragin' Cajuns answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning when Jace Conrad homered off Daniel Wright to push the lead to 11-4. It was just the third home run that Wright had surrendered on the year in what turned out to be one of Wright's roughest outings of the season.
The senior right-hander went at least seven innings for his sixth consecutive start, but he issued 11 runs on 13 hits and had just three strikeouts on the night. After giving up seven runs through the first three innings, Wright settled down and gave up just one run over the next three innings, but then gave up the home run Conrad in the bottom of the seventh.
Massanelli finished the night 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while Jones had two hits and two runs batted in. Potts also finished the game with two hits and scored two runs on the night.
ASU and ULL will square for the second game of the series Saturday night at 6 p.m. with Bradley Wallace scheduled to make the start for ASU.