Higgs’ Homer Helps Cajuns Edge Troy In SBC Slugfest, 14-13

TROY, Ala. – Conor Higgs belted a solo home run with two outs in the top of the 10th inning and John Taylor added an insurance run with an RBI double as No. 18 Louisiana survived a frantic rally by Troy and earned a wild 14-13 victory in the series finale between the Sun Belt Conference’s top two teams on Sunday at Riddle-Pace Field.

Taylor, Trey LaFleur and Kyle DeBarge each homered as Louisiana (34-15, 18-6 SBC) avoided a three-game road sweep against Troy (34-15, 16-8 SBC) for the second consecutive time while keeping the Trojans from forging a tie for first place in the league standings with six games remaining.

Duncan Pastore and Caleb Stelly had three hits each for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who pounded out a season-high 19 hits built a 12-4 lead through seven innings before Troy’s high-octane offense finally got on track.

Higgs, who finished 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, belted his 10th homer of the season after Troy’s Clete Hartzog (7-3) fanned the first two batters in the inning. After DeBarge doubled off the wall in right field, Taylor laced an RBI double into the gap to cap a 3-for-6 day at the plate.

David Christie (2-0) pitched the final inning for Louisiana, allowing an unearned run before getting Mikey Bello to line out to Higgs in left to end the game after the Trojans had two runners on base.

Troy, which had its eight-game win streak snapped, scored runs in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead before Louisiana scored five times over the next three innings for a 5-2 lead.

LaFleur, who was 3-for-6 with a home run and two doubles, drove in Luke Yuhasz with a double in the third to cut the Trojan lead to 2-1 before a solo home run by Taylor in the fourth tied the game at 2-2.

After Stelly reached on his first of two doubles in the game, Lee Amedee would give Louisiana a 3-2 lead when his sacrifice fly to left plated Stelly from third.

After Jose Torres chased Troy starter Grayson Stewart with a leadoff single in the fifth, LaFleur greeted reliever Michael Osmond with a two-run homer – his eighth of the season – to center for a 5-2 lead.

Louisiana scored five runs with two outs in the seventh beginning when DeBarge greeted reliever Noah Manning with a three-run blast to left-center for his 17th of the season. Amedee would add a two-run single in the inning when he drove in Taylor and Pastore for a 10-4 lead.

Higgs gave Louisiana an 11-4 lead in the eighth with an RBI single before Stelly scored third on an attempted double steal in the ninth when Bryan Broussard, Jr., was caught in an inning-ending run down.

Troy scored twice in the eighth on Will Butcher’s two-run homer to left before scoring six times in the ninth, capped by Butcher’s one-out, grand slam.

Butcher finished 3-for-5 with seven RBI to lead Troy’s 13-hit attack. Hartzog took the loss after giving up a pair of runs on three hits.

Blake McGehee earned the start for Louisiana and scattered six hits and allowed three runs in 4.1 innings. LaFleur, DeBarge and Amedee drove in three runs for Louisiana

Single-game tickets are available by visiting the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome or purchasing by visiting Account Manager. For more information call the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome at (337) 265-2104.

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