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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Ragin’ Cajuns Ravage the Herd

Griffin+Miller+tallied+four+strikeouts+in+four+innings.
Courtesy of HerdZone
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.

Marshall Baseball’s batting narrowly avoided a contactless catastrophe in Lafayette, Louisiana, after the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns limited the Herd to just one hit during a three loss run over the April 12-14 weekend.

The No. 19 team in the nation offensively stifled the Herd, causing a rough three game series. Across those three games, the Herd only managed one total run and seven total hits – five of those hits and the lone run occurring in the series’ first game against the Sun Belt Conference’s top team.

“It was another tough day for our offense,” Marshall head coach Greg Beals said postgame. “We need to get the swagger back. Preparation is where it’ll come from, and we’ll do that work.”

Marshall was out-hit 9-1 by Louisiana, stranding five runners on base. The Ragin’ Cajuns garnered two runs on its nine hits, stranding nine more runners across the diamond throughout the contest. The only statistical category that Marshall had over Louisiana was in errors, where the Herd committed none, and the Ragin’ Cajuns committed one.

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With the loss, Marshall drops to 5-10 in conference play and 12-22 overall. Louisiana entered and finished the same series atop the Sun Belt’s standings, having garnered a conference record of 14-1 so far this season.

“The pitchers have put us on their shoulders the last several games,” Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs said postgame. “They’re doing an incredible job. Though, we’ve got to execute better offensively.”

Louisiana exits the series with a bullpen ERA of 3.35. That’s nearly a full point lower than Old Dominion, where the Monarchs’ bullpen ERA of 4.33 places it second. 

Marshall’s bullpen possesses a cumulative ERA of 5.14, which places it fifth best in the conference, and it proved relatively effective against the Sun Belt’s third-best team in batting average. After a costly first inning, the Herd contained the Ragin’ Cajuns’ bats, plugging the wound with 7.1 scoreless innings to close out the contest.

“Another strong performance out of our bullpen,” Beals said. “They settled us and gave us a chance to get back in the ball game.”

However, the Herd never had the opportunity to capitalize on that chance. A relentless mound-based pitching attack from Louisiana starter Carson Fluno prohibited Marshall from being able to net a hit until the eighth inning, where AJ Havrilla extended his on-base streak to 16 games with a single hit to second base. 

“That hit was like a train wreck,” Deggs said. “I saw the whole thing coming. Fluno would have stayed out there if he had a shot at a no-hitter because that opportunity only rolls around ever so often.”

Next up for Marshall Baseball is a trip back to Jack Cook Field on Tuesday, April 16, as the Herd faces off versus the Morehead State Eagles, who is 8-12 on the road this season and has only won two of its last six games. 

First pitch is at 6 p.m. for the first contest of a two-day, two-town, two-game series between the Herd and the Eagles that sees game one played in Huntington and game two played across the state border in Morehead, Kentucky, at Allen Field.

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