By Lori Lyons, Rougarou Writer
The Baton Rouge Rougarou tried to rally against the Acadiana Cane Cutters Monday night, but fell just a little short in a 6-5 loss to their I-10 rivals in the Battle of the Basin.
Long ball hurt the Rougarou early. Acadiana took a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a 2-run home run by Sawyer Duddleston, and pulled away from a 2-2 tie in the fourth when Duddleston hit his second dinger of the night. The Cane Cutters added a run in the fifth and another in the sixth on Emil Estrella’s solo home run that made 6-2.
Then the Rougarou found its spark. In the bottom of the sixth frame, Banks Byers hit a one-out triple and scored on a groundout by Trevor Durr to make it 6-3. Baton Rouge then added two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, Payton Cooper singled and Austin O’Malley walked. A pair of errors, one by the right fielder and one by the catcher on a pick-off throw, allowed Cooper and O’Malley to score to cut the lead to one run.
After retiring the Cane Cutters in order in the top of the ninth inning, the Rougarou had its chances. With one out, Sully Stringer walked. Davis Meche was sent in to pinch run, but he was caught stealing second. Brady McGee walked to give the Rougarou another chance, but Derrald Moore Jr. struck out looking to end the threat.
The Rougarou outhit Acadiana 11-8 and were helped by four Acadiana errors. Durr went 3-for-4 and Payton Cooper went 2-for-4.
Four Baton Rouge pitchers saw action Monday night. Starter Will Tarpley (LP) threw four innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out three. Hunter Ponson pitched one inning, giving up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out two. Cowan Alfonso threw two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and striking out three. Connor Spencer gave up no runs and no hits in two innings, walked one and struck out three.
“We had our chances,” Rougarou coach Jeff “Rooster” Southall said. “We hit well enough to win. We had 11 hits and about four or five more stingers right at people. We gave up two 2-run homers and a solo homer early, and that put pressure on our bats, which responded well. It stinks to lose, but it’s baseball.”
The Rougarou will have the next two nights off before meeting the Cane Cutters again on Thursday at Fabacher Field in Youngsville. The Cutters return to Goldsby Field on Friday.