Sixth ranked University of Louisiana-Lafayette appeared set to rebound from a disappointing loss to TCU on Friday night and then it all fell apart. A run in the ninth and two more in the tenth turned a winnable 3-2 ballgame into a 5-3 loss to 23rd ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday afternoon.
Wyatt Marks, a sophomore right-hander got the nod from ULL head coach Tony Robichaux in game two of the Ragin Cajuns second game in the Shriners Hospital For Children College Classic at Minute maid Park in Houston, Texas. Marks threw five and two-thirds innings of six hit two run baseball in the loss.
Texas Tech tagged Marks for the game’s first run in the third inning. Two hits, a sacrifice bunt and a groundout from Cory Raley put the Red Raiders up 1-0.
The Ragin Cajuns answered back with a tally in the fourth. Joe Robbins got things started off Tech’s freshman starter Ty Harpenau with a walk and three batters later he raced on a ground out from Kyle Cement. Robichaux was senting packing in the fourth as well after arguing over a timeout call by the home plat umpire that negated a run by Conrad who raced home after the play.
Orlando Garcia broke the tie with a kead off home run in the sixth giving Tech the lead again but ULL answered back again.
Robbins crushed his own lead-off home run in the bottom of the inning and the game was tied as both sides went to their bullpens.
ULL pushed across the lead run in the bottom of the seventh with a two out single from Brian Mills but the team from Lafayette could not hold it.
“We played well except for one inning,” said Robichaux after the game. “This team has to learn how to win, how to finish. We have to learn to make a critical play at a critical time, throw the big pitch at critical times.”
With the game on the line in the top of the ninth, the Red Raiders finally got to ULL reliever Dylan Moore sending seven men to the plate and manufacturing the game tying run on a fielder’s choice from Tyler Floyd.
The two out trouble that has plagued ULL the previous two games showed up in the tenth inning on Saturday. Moore (1-1) struck out Stefan Smith looking to start the inning and after Eric Gutierrez single, he induced Tyler Neslony into a routine ground out before the wheels fell off. An error by shortstop Brad Antchak kept the inning alive and knocked Moore from the game. Ryan Long then greeted Jevin Huval, ULL’s fourth pitcher of the day, with a two run double and a 5-3 Texas Tech lead.
Ryan Shetter, the fifth pitcher for Tech, worked around a one out double by Conrad to retire the side and pick up his first win of 2016.
Texas Tech (6-1) plays its final game of the 2016 Shriners Hospital For Children College Classic in Sunday’s 12:05p.m. CDT opener against the 18th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks.
ULL(3-4) closes out play in the College Classic with a night cap game on Sunday evening against the Rice Owls. First pitch is slated for 6:05p.m.CDT.