Ragin’ Cajun pitchers go 2-for-3 against Gophers in series at the Dome

Robert Mews

A strong dose of Southern-school pitching this weekend kept Minnesota’s baseball team from winning its first series on the road this season.

Minnesota (8-7) lost Sunday at Louisiana-Lafayette (10-7), 3-1. The Gophers were able to pull out a win Saturday, 3-2, while losing the series opener 2-0 on Friday.

All three of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ starting pitchers pitched into the ninth inning and threw more than 100 pitches in the series. Sunday’s starter, Buddy Glass (3-0) was able to pitch the complete game while throwing 114 pitches.

“Right now they’re trying to get wins by hanging onto their starters,” Minnesota senior pitcher Brian Bull said. “But eventually their starters won’t be able to go that far.”

On Sunday, Glass was roughed up early, but held on for the complete game win.

Minnesota led off the top of the first inning when Taylor VanderAarde doubled to center field. VanderAarde scored when Dan Lyons singled down the leftfield line.

“We thought we might have a pretty good run at it, but unfortunately we didn’t,” Lyons said about the quick start.

The unfortunate part of Sunday’s game for Gophers, Lyons said, was that Louisiana-Lafayette was able to make plays, while Minnesota could not.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Cajuns were able to get two runs with a string of singles.

Gophers pitcher Dustin Brabender (1-3) faced seven batters in the fourth and finished the fifth by allowing another run.

On Saturday Minnesota was on the winning end of a tight contest with a 3-2 win.

An aggressive start propelled the Gophers into a quick 1-0 first inning lead.

Lyons was able to knock an RBI single down the left field line and then stole second in an attempt to get a quick start.

“We knew we had to come out strong right off the bat after losing that first game,” Lyons said. “So we really were trying to swing the bats pretty hard right away.”

Louisiana-Lafayette was able to drive in a tying run in the bottom of the third when Devon Bourque scored on a groundout by Jameson Parker.

However, Minnesota lifted itself ahead in the top of fourth with senior first baseman Andy Hunter’s first homerun of the season.

The Cajuns tied things up once again in the fourth with Blaine LaFleur’s RBI double to left field.

But in the ninth, VanderAarde came through for the Gophers with a two-out, RBI single to center field.

“I was looking for a fastball and just got one I could drive to the gap,” VanderAarde said.

Reliever Bill Johnson (1-0) got the victory for the Gophers while Cajuns starter, Jason Fernandez (2-1) threw 125 pitches in 8 2/3 innings of work for the loss.

“Their starters pitched very well,” VanderAarde said. “They were probably the reason why they won two out of three.”

Louisiana-Lafayette pitcher Hunter Moody (3-2) went 8 1/3 innings on Friday for the win. He was able to get the victory on 129 pitches.

Bull (1-3) had another strong performance, but still wasn’t able to get run support.

“It’s tough,” Bull said. “I just try to go out and do my job and hopefully, I can get some run support. But that’s baseball.”