Sun Belt Conference Tournament: Louisiana Lafayette Wins With Late Rally

Sun Belt Baseball

Courtesy WKU Atheletics

MOBILE, Ala. – Michael Strentz drove in his second RBI of the day in a four-run eighth as No. 1 Louisiana Lafayette wins with a late rally over Louisiana Monroe 7-3 to open their Sun Belt Conference Tournament campaign with its’ seventh win in seven tries this season over the Warhawks. The Cajuns have won seven consecutive games and look to wrap up a National Seed in the NCAA Regionals.

Cody Lovejoy hit a walk-off sac fly in the 10th after Texas State scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth for force extras as the Bobcats defeated Western Kentucky 4-3. Hilltopper Justin Hageman threw eight scoreless innings and left with a 3-0 lead as closer Ian Tompkins came on to pitch the ninth. Tompkins hit Granger Studdard on a 3-and-1 count before walking Austin O’Neal on another 3-and-1 count before giving way Sam Higgs who would surrender the lead.

Garrett Pitts hit a solo homer with two outs in the 13th inning as Troy overcame a late comeback effort that sent the game to extras to upset Arkansas State 4-3 in Sun Belt Conference Tournament play. The Trojans jumped to an early 2-0 lead on a David Hall RBI single and an Ali Knowles sac fly in the first inning and extended the lead to 3-0 only to see the lead evaporate as A-State scored twice in the bottom of the ninth on a Dustin Jones RBI single and a Ty Michelotti sac fly to tie the game at 3-3.

Travis Sibley hit a three-run double in the fifth as UT Arlington opened up an 8-0 lead and would go on to an 8-4 win over tournament host South Alabama. The Mavericks have won eight straight games for the longest winning streak of any Sun Belt team in the tournament.

In the loser’s bracket, WKU plays ULM andArkansas State faces South Alabama in elimination games. The Hilltoppers and Red Wolves each took two-of-three from their Thursday opponents during the regular season.

On the winner’s side, ULL squares off with Texas State and UT Arlington battles Troy. The Cajuns and Mavericks each took series wins over their Thursday opponents during the regular season.

About the Author

Mark West
Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MarkWestCBC Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting. Follow on Twitter @MarkWestCBC