Louisiana explodes past Texas to reach regional title round

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The Texas A&M Aggies will enter the title round of the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional Sunday night as a prohibitive favorite against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

The Aggies are seeded third nationally and first in the region and will play for the third time this weekend in front of their boisterous home fans at Blue Bell Park.

A&M has won 34 and lost only three at home all year, so the paying customers will expect the Southeastern Conference powerhouse to beat the Sun Belt regular-season champions and complete a three-for-three sweep through the regional.

The regional’s second-seeded Cajuns, however, will not go home willingly.

Showing a determined resolve in playing through the losers bracket, Louisiana erupted for seven runs in the eighth inning Sunday afternoon en route to a 10-2 victory to eliminate the third-seeded Texas Longhorns.

The Cajuns lashed six hits during the outburst, including three-run homers by Jose Torres and Bryan Broussard.

Louisiana took a circuitous route to the regional finals. In Friday’s opener, the Longhorns beat the Cajuns 12-5. But on Saturday afternoon, they started their way back, knocking off the Grambling State (La.) Tigers, 12-5.

With the victory, they earned a rematch with the Longhorns, and they didn’t waste it. Louisiana produced 15 hits, including four for extra bases. When they needed a hit, they got it, driving in all 10 runs in two-out situations.

For the Longhorns, starting pitcher Ace Whitehead worked 6 and 2/3 innings and allowed only two runs. Texas had 10 hits, including two each by Will Gasparino, Rylan Galvan, Casey Borba and Max Schuessler.

But after losing 4-2 Saturday night to the Aggies, the Longhorns’ failed to generate much momentum against the Cajuns. Winners of 15 of their last 20 games, Texas couldn’t produce when it mattered, going 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.


Texas A&M 46-13
Louisiana 42-19
x-Texas 36-24
x-Grambling 26-28

Coming up

Louisiana at Texas A&M, Sunday, 7 p.m., in the regional title round. If Louisiana wins, a winner-take-all game between the two would be played on Monday. A Monday game time hasn’t been announced.

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