Beat the Streak: Warhawks down Ragin’ Cajuns to end long series skid

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Monroe, La. – Trey Jeans gave up two runs over seven innings, Chad Bell hit the go-ahead three-run home run, and the ULM Warhawks moved a step closer to clinching a spot in the Sun Belt Conference tournament with a 6-3 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns Thursday night at Warhawk Field.

The win was the first for ULM against the Ragin’ Cajuns since 2012, spanning 25 games. It also reduces the Warhawks magic number for qualifying for the conference tournament to one after Little Rock defeated Arkansas State 2-1 in 11 innings. The Warhawks will qualify for the tournament with either one more win or one more Arkansas State loss.

“We all knew what was at stake for this series,” Bell said. “Not necessarily the whole streak that everyone talks about, but more so getting to the tournament. That’s the big thing since I’ve been here. I haven’t been there. It’s definitely a big goal of ours.”

The Cajuns looked poised to take control of the game out of the gate. Hayden Cantrelle and Hunter Kasuls hit back-to-back singles to open the game, and Todd Lott followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases with nobody out. However, Jeans settled in, striking out Orynn Veillon and Handsome Monica before inducing a fly ball from Daniel Lahare to get out of the inning without the Cajuns getting on the scoreboard.

“My mindset was just to control what I can do at the moment,” Jeans said. “Just throw strike one, strike two, throw strike three. I executed that and I just got confidence going from there.”

Jeans worked out of another jam in the fifth inning, with runners on first and second an no outs before picking up a strikeout and a double play to get out of the inning.

Jeans picked up his fourth win of the season, pitching seven innings with two runs on six hits and three walks while matching a season-high with nine strikeouts.

“It felt really good to break the streak, to get a Thursday night win,” Federico said. “We haven’t had a lot of those. That was a comforting feeling tonight. I felt like we had pretty good control of the game, especially after the first inning, when we got out of that jam with bases loaded, nobody out. Jeans gives up six hits, and two of them were the first two batters of the game. He really settled in and did an outstanding job.”

Offensively, the Warhawks scored in the first inning for the fourth straight inning. Andrew Beesley’s RBI double scored Trent Tingelstad for the early 1-0 lead. After the Cajuns tied the game on Kasuls’ home run in the top of the third, Bell answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the third, his 16th of the season, to give the Warhawks a 4-1 advantage. The homer also extended Bell’s hitting streak to 17 games.

“For us to get the three-run spot right after we give up the home run in the third inning, to get that from Bell was tremendous,” Federico said.

The Warhawks added two more runs in the fifth inning, as Humeniuk’s infield single brought home Tingelstad and Brendan Jordan picked up an RBI on a groundout, plating Bell for the 6-1 lead.

The Cajuns pulled within 6-3 after a pair of solo homers, one from Monica in the sixth inning and the other from Veillon in the eighth. Landon Longsworth worked around the homer and pitched the final two innings to close out the game, giving up the run on two hits with no walks and a strikeout.

Bell finished 2-for-4 with the home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Tingelstad had three hits, including a double, and scored three times, while Humeniuk had two infield hits with an RBI and a walk. Kasuls was the only Cajun with two hits on the game.

The Warhawks and Cajuns continue the series on Friday night at Warhawk Field with first pitch at 6. For tickets, call 318-342-HAWK or visit ULMWarhawks.com. Links to live video, audio and stats are available at ULMWarhawks.com.

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