Jag Baseball Hold Steady at #29 In Latest Collegiate Baseball Poll

May 12, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, NCAA, Sun Belt Conference 

USABaseballThe University of South Alabama baseball team hold steady at #29 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Poll released on Monday after taking two out of three from Louisiana-Lafayette over the weekend.

In game one, Kevin Hill continued his excellent pitching with his ninth consecutive win by allowing only five hits with eight strikeouts and only three walks to extend his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings. He faced the minimum over the final four innings to give the Cajuns their first shutout loss of the season.

In game two, righty Ben Taylor earned his sixth win of the year with 2 2/3 innings of relief by allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts and a walk.

Austin Bembnowski threw six innings and allowed just one run on six hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks in a no-decision.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Cajuns scored the first run of the game. Joe Robbins led off the inning with a single to left field and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Then a one-out single up the middles scored Robbins.

The Cajuns would load the bases later in the inning with two outs, but Bembnowski would work out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout to minimize the damage to just one run.

In the top of the sixth, the Jaguars answered with their first run of the game. Ben Gann hit a double to the right center gap with one out. He was advanced to third on a one-out single to left field by Bud Collura. Then Adam Ballew hit an RBI single to right field to drive in Gann and tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the seventh, the Jaguars earned their first lead of the game after Jared Barnes reached on a one-out single to center field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch then moved to third base on a pinch-hit single to right field by Danny Martinez. Ryan Raspino followed with a sacrifice fly to right-center field to score Barnes for a 2-1 Jaguar lead.

The Cajuns would answer in the bottom half of the inning on a suicide squeeze bunt.

The Jaguars would regain the lead in the top of the eighth inning after Collura reached on a one-out single to right field. He moved to second when Ballew reached on catcher’s interference. Bolger followed with a single to center field to load the bases with only one out. Barnes would deliver an infield RBI single down the third base line to score Collura for a 3-2 advantage. Martinez would follow that with a bases-loaded walk with two outs to score Ballew and double the lead at 4-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Cajuns put the tying run on base with one out after a single and a player hit by a pitch. Then a walk loaded the bases and moved the tying run into scoring position and putting the winning run on base. A sacrifice fly to right-center field halved the Jaguar lead, but Taylor would induce a flyout to right field to end the game and clinch the series.

In the series finale on Sunday, the Jags fell to the Cajuns 3-2. Going into the bottom of the eighth inning the Jags led by one run. Kennon Fontenot led off with a pinch-hit single up the middle then moved to second on a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Stefan Trosclair advanced both runners into scoring position before a strikeout make the second out of the inning. But Conrad would single through the right side of the infield to score two runners and take the lead.

The Jags were unable to respond in the top of the ninth to fall to 34-18 and 19-9 in conference play. Louisiana-Lafayette, with the one win in the series, has a record of 31-19 overall and 15-11 in conference play.

USA will return home for their final series of the regular season when they host Troy at Eddie Stanky Field. Then they will travel to Troy for the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Championship May 20-24.

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