Blake Dean’s 100th win comes in Privateers’ road win over Ragin’ Cajuns

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LAFAYETTE, La. – The New Orleans Privateers put up multiple runs in the first three innings and coasted to a 10-3 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Tuesday at M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. The win also gave Blake Dean his 100th as Privateers head coach.

New Orleans (10-5) pounded out five extra base hits to gain their sizable early lead. After the dust settled, New Orleans cranked out eight hits, five of which went for extra bases. The win also moved the Privateers to 3-2 on their current eight-game road trip.

The Privateers wasted no time getting out to a 4-0 lead after their turn at-bat in the first. Pearce Howard and Tresten Kennard both provided extra base hits and New Orleans took advantage of two Cajun errors in the field. Cajuns starter, Blake Schultz threw 26 pitches in the first inning and was chased after allowing another run in the second.

New Orleans continued to pile on with three more runs in the top of the second. Antonio Gauthier led off the frame with a triple and scored on a Darren Willis base hit. Two batters later, Salo Iza battled back from down 0-2 in the count to pull a two-run double down the left field line.

In the third, Connor Cooke got the first two Privateers out and looked for a clean inning. However, New Orleans managed to add two more runs. After a walk by Gauthier and a single from Willis, Collin Morrill drove a double into the gap in left-center to bring both runners home.

The Cajuns looked to get back into the game after loading the bases with one out in the fifth with Handsome Monica at the plate. Brayson Smith came in out of the pen for New Orleans and induced a ground ball that turned into a 5-4-3 double play to erase the threat.

Smith (1-1) picked up the win after finishing out the sixth. He pitched 1.2 scoreless frames with a strikeout. The loss went to Schultz (2-1) who got tagged for seven runs (four earned) in one inning plus three batters.

Willis had a strong night in the nine hole in the order with three hits and three runs. Morrill, Iza, P. Howard, and Kennard each delivered two hits. Privateer pitchers combined for nine strikeouts on the night. The win for New Orleans was the first against the Cajuns since 2014.

“Those guys came out and played awesome today. I was waiting for that all year how they swung the bat tonight. Overall I’m really impressed. It was because of these guys that I got my 100th win. It feels awesome and hopefully there are many more to come.”

“People seem to forget how it was a couple of years ago. Coach Maestri came back out of retirement because he believed in something and he wanted to see this place continue to be what it once was. We owe him a lot of gratitude and he built a powerhouse. I appreciate everything he’s done for me.”

“This game really shows what we’re capable of. We competed, played hard, and got rewarded today. Tonight was a good step in the right direction for our offense. We just need to keep consistent.”

“As far as my approach, I was just trying to keep it simple and trust my hands in the box and be a tough out.”

“It’s such an honor to play for Coach Dean. He’s been a role model and continues to be one every day. I’m just happy to be on his team and competing for him.”

The road trip wraps up with a three-game series against the defending Southland tournament champion, Northwestern State. The series starts on Friday with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.

Fans are encouraged to follow @Privateers_BSB on Twitter, @Privateers_BSBon Instagram, like /PrivateersBSB on Facebook and subscribe to the PrivateerAthletics YouTube channel.

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