Cajuns Complete Sweep of ULM to Extend Win Streak to 15

LAFAYETTE – Carson Fluno and five relievers combined on a five-hitter while Louisiana erupted for seven runs in the first two innings to earn a 9-2 win over ULM, winning its nation’s-best 15-game consecutive game and completing a three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep on Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.

The top three hitters for Louisiana (24-8, 11-1 SBC) – John Taylor, Trey LaFleur and Kyle DeBarge – combined to go 7-for-12 at the plate with five runs scored as the Ragin’ Cajuns struck for two runs in the first inning and five in the second.

The win marked Louisiana’s 11th straight win in conference play – one shy of tying the school-record (12) which was set in 2010.

“I thought we got a really solid outing from Carson,” head coach Matt Deggs said. “I was hoping for three (innings) and he got us four … it could have been five. He had good command of his fastball and his downer curve looked good.

“The hitters had gritty at-bats all day. Just grinding and finding ways to reach. Our short game was good and we left a lot of runs out there. We stranded quite a few (on base). Just 1 through 9, I thought it was a pretty good day for us.”

Fluno, making his first appearance on the mound since a 2.0-inning stint against Old Dominion on March 23, allowed one hit and struck out four batters in 4.0 innings of action.

The right-hander would get all of the runs he would need early as Louisiana put its first three batters aboard and led 2-0 after Taylor drew a walk and LaFleur reached on a bunt single off ULM starter Justin Robinson (2-1).

DeBarge, who would finish 2-for-3 at the plate, then laced an RBI single to left to drive in Taylor before the LaFleur would score on a reverse force double play.

Jose Torres hit a leadoff single to open the second for Louisiana and scored one batter later when Josh Alexander tripled to center for a 3-0 advantage. Caleb Stelly added an RBI double to chase Robinson before LaFleur drove in a run with an infield single and Duncan Pastore would later add a two-run single off ULM reliever Joey Cirelli.

ULM (15-17, 3-9 SBC) got on the board in the fifth inning when Carson Jones singled through the left side to drive in Ian Montz before the Cajuns added runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.

DeBarge added a two-out single to left to drive in Taylor for an 8-1 lead before Stelly lifted a sacrifice fly to score Conor Higgs for a 9-1 lead.

Jack Martinez (4-2) earned the victory for Louisiana with JT Etheridge, Blake Marshall and Matthew Holzhammer tossing a scoreless inning in relief. LP Langevin struck out three batters and allowed an unearned run in the ninth.

Robinson allowed five runs on five hits before being lifted in the second inning for the Warhawks. Jayson Zmejkoski went 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead ULM at the plate with Easton Winfield, Matt Abshire and Jones each recording one hit.

Louisiana will continue its nine-game homestand with a pair of midweek games beginning on Tuesday against Prairie View A&M at 6 p.m. The Ragin’ Cajuns will then host in-state rival Louisiana Tech on Wednesday before wrapping up the homestand with a three-game SBC series against Marshall beginning on Friday.

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