TROY, Ala. - Zach Osborne stole the show in the Cajuns best game in weeks, as the right-handed junior college transfer pitched a complete game shutout to help the Cajuns snap a five-game slide.
Louisiana cruised to a 5-0 win over the Troy Trojans, moving to 19-20-1 and 9-12 in the Sun Belt.
Osborne had the Trojans at his mercy the entire game, carrying a two-hitter into the ninth inning with 115 pitches under his belt. He finished the game with just four hits, five strikeouts, no walks, no hit batsmen, no wild pitches and no balks. The start was by far the team?s best of the season, as Osborne notched the Cajuns? first complete game of 2009, and first since May 23, 2008 versus South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament when Brent Solich blanked the Jaguars.
Kyle Olasin stole his sixth bag of the year in the opening frame and Chad Keefer nabbed his fifth, bringing the Cajuns? season-long total to 49. In the latest NCAA Division I statistical release, Louisiana stood at 45th in the nation in stolen bases.
Olasin?s stolen base was just a part of his stellar night, as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Keefer was also a part of the offensive effort going 2-for-4 with three RBI to extend the Cajuns? longest active hitting streak to six games, and Greg Fontenot had the only other RBI on 1-for-4 batting.
As part of a complete effort, the Cajuns registered 12 hits including three doubles and just one defensive error.
Osborne retired the first seven batters he faced on six straight groundouts followed by a fly out. His eighth batter reached on an error by third baseman Chad Keefer, but the feisty righty got back into rhythm and retired the next two on groundouts.
Osborne sat down the first batter of the Trojans? fourth on a lineout to make it 3 1/3 straight innings without allowing a hit. The no-hit bid broke up in a tough way, as a laser shot back at the mound hit Osborne in the ankle and ricocheted into third-base foul territory, giving the Trojans their first hit of the game. Uninjured, Osborne stayed on the bump and got the next two on contact.
He kept the gem going with two groundouts and his first strikeout of the night in the fifth, a lineout and two groundouts in the sixth and a strikeout, groundout and lineout in the seventh. After retiring 11 straight, Osborne allowed a leadoff double in the eighth but it was just the second hit of the game for the Trojans. Osborne recovered with a strikeout, his third of the game, a groundout and a fly out to evade any damage and go to the ninth.
In the ninth, Osborne started the Trojans off with a swinging strikeout before allowing the Trojans? third hit with a single into short left field. The next at bat was Osborne?s fifth strikeout, but was followed immediately with Troy?s fourth hit of the game up the middle.
Offensively, the Cajuns opened the scoring after putting two runners on in the top of the fourth. Les Smith grounded into a double play but advanced Travis Whipple to third, and Keefer lined an easy single into left field and scored Whipple to give the Cajuns a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, UL tacked another on the board as Kyle Bostick scored from third on a Kyle Olasin sacrifice fly.
Olasin singled aboard in the eighth and moved to third on a sacrifice by Matt Goulas, who reached on a throwing error. Scott Hawkins was hit by a pitch to bring up Chad Keefer with the bases loaded and two down. Keefer came through with a clutch single through the left side to score Olasin and Goulas. Greg Fontenot set a fly ball in no man?s land in short centerfield to score another, completing a three-run inning and extending Louisiana?s lead to 5-0.
The Trojans/Cajuns series continues Saturday with a 6 p.m. game, broadcast on NewsRadio 105.1 KPEL and KPEL1051.com, with live video and statistics available through RaginCajuns.com.