right-hander Drew Granier no-hit La.-Lafayette through eight innings and the
Warhawks defeated the Cajuns 2-1 Friday night at “Tigue” Moore Field in the Sun
Belt Conference opener. Granier finished the game with eight strikeouts and
allowed just one hit in his second straight complete game.
The Warhawks won for the ninth
time in their past 10 games to improve to 11-5 on the season, while the Cajuns
fell to 8-9 overall.
It would have been ULM’s first
no-hitter since Ben Sheets and Lance Caraccioli combined to no-hit Louisiana
College in 1998 and would have been the first nine-inning no-hitter by one
pitcher since Rickey Rockett vs. Texas State in 1973.
Granier (2-0) lowered his Sun
Belt leading ERA among weekend starters to 1.45 on the season. He has allowed
just five runs all season long over 31 innings of work.
Caleb Knox scored the game’s
first run after leading off the top of the seventh inning with a double down
the line in left field. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrett Hammond and scored on a line-drive base hit by Matt Laird to right field.
The Warhawks tacked on an
insurance run in the top of the ninth after Laird led off the frame with their
third straight lead-off double. A single by Jason Hicks and a walk to Les Aulds
loaded the bases. Following a fielder’s choice, Caleb Clowers drove home Hicks
with a sacrifice fly for what proved to be the game-winning run.
Jordan Poirrier broke up
Granier’s no-hitter on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning. The
ULL cleanup hitter lined a triple into right field; he would score the Cajuns only
run of the game on a sac fly by Greg Fontenot.
Judd Edwards, Knox and Laird
all finished 2-for-4 on the night for the Warhawks. Aulds drew a pair of walks
and had a base hit, while Rapp belted his sixth double of the season.
The Warhawks wasted a prime opportunity
to score first in the top of the second inning. Edwards led off the frame with
a single to right and moved over to third on a single by Knox. ULL starter
Taylor Hubbell retired the next three Warhawks -- two by strikeout -- to escape
The Cajuns had just as good of
a chance in their half of the third as they loaded the bases without the
benefit of a hit. Granier got Mike Petello to ground into a fielder’s choice to
get out of the jam.
Hubbell (3-2) took the loss
for the Cajuns despite striking out eight and scattering six hits over six
innings of work. ULL closer Joey Satriano allowed one run on four hits over
Grainer worked out of trouble
in the seventh after he issued a lead-off walk to Michael Strentz. A sacrifice
bunt moved Strentz to second and pinch runner Brian Bowman then stole third.
Granier struck out Jordan Bourque looking and got Ryan Leonards to fly out to
right to end the inning.
The Warhawks and Cajuns
continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ULM will send
sophomore left-hander Randy Zeigler (1-1, 5.23) to the bump, while
La.-Lafayette will counter with junior right-hander Jordan Nicholson (1-1,