Louisiana Dominates Arkansas State 9-0 Behind Complete Game Shutout by Connor Cooke
Louisiana's starting pitcher Connor Cooke threw the first two-hit complete game shutout by a Ragin' Cajun since 2014 in the team's 9-0 victory against Arkansas State.
The Cajuns are now 20-11 overall and 7-1 in Sun Belt Conference play. They have now won eight straight games.
Cooke had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning for Louisiana. He gave up only two hits over his nine innings of work while striking out 12 without giving up a walk. The 12 strikeouts are the most by a Louisiana pitcher this season and a career-high for Cooke. He dominated Arkansas State all game, and secured the final three outs in the ninth inning to complete his shutout of the Red Wolves.
Ragin' Cajuns head coach Matt Deggs praised his starter's effort in the shutout.
"What can you say about the kid? He's earned everything," Deggs said. "He's physical, he loves to compete and he's putting it together at the right time. He's probably the best pound-for-pound athlete on campus. I couldn't be more proud of him."
With Cooke controlling the game, Louisiana's offense had another great performance.
The Cajuns loaded the bases in the second inning, and a wild pitch with two outs brought the first run of the game home. Connor Kimple continued the inning with an 11-pitch at-bat that ended in a two-out two-run double to give Louisiana an early 3-0 lead.
After a couple of scoreless innings for the offense, Tyler Robertson opened the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run to stretch the lead to 4-0.
In the sixth, Brett Borgogno hit his first career home run as a Ragin' Cajun, and Louisiana took a commanding 5-0 lead.
Brennan Breaux added the sixth run for the Cajuns on a two-out RBI-single in the seventh inning, and CJ Willis capped it all off with a three-run home run in the eighth. That home run was Willis' first as a Cajun. Louisiana's offense scored in four consecutive innings, and Cooke took care of the rest in the dominant 9-0 victory.
Up next, Louisiana has an opportunity to complete their second straight Sun Belt Conference series sweep when they host Arkansas State for game three tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Freshman pitcher Chipper Menard will start for the Cajuns as they look to capture their ninth-straight win.