LAFAYETTE, La. - Sophomore Nick Regnier doubled his home run total from a year ago in just one game, but a seven-run inning by Louisiana was too much to overcome as Central Michigan dropped its season opener Friday night, 12-6.
Regnier's first home run of the night tied the game in the top of the fifth when he hit a no-doubt shot over the left field fence on a 1-2 pitch from Ragin Cajuns' (1-0) starter Chase Traffica. Senior Tom Lally was hit by a pitch to start the inning and junior Noel Santos walked before both coming around to score on the Regnier bomb.
The sophomore added a two-run blast in the top of the ninth inning and ended the evening 3-for-5 with five RBI.
The Chippewas (0-1) lost all momentum in the bottom of the fifth, as sophomore Matt Trowbridge gave up a double to Seth Harrison to start the inning and walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases and finish his night after just four-plus innings of work.
Redshirt freshman Blake Louscher came on to make his debut in the Maroon and Gold, but the lefty's first pitch was wild and allowed Harrison to score from third. After a four-pitch walk reloaded the bases, a passed ball allowed another Louisiana runner to cross the plate and put the Chippewas down, 5-3.
The Chippewas' struggles continued in the next inning when junior Joe Ucho gave up hits to the first four batters he faced and the Ragin' Cajuns went on to bat around and score seven runs in the inning to grab a 12-6 lead.
"We made some mistakes defensively tonight," head coach Steve Jaksa. "We had some spacing issues and we didn't cover the bunt very well. We put ourselves in a tough spot and giving up a seven spot is usually too much to overcome."
Sophomore Cody Leichman and freshman Zack Fields, both making their CMU debuts, helped plate a run in the top of the eighth has Leichman singled to center and stole second before Fields hit a RBI double to left field in his first plate appearance.
Senior Jordan Adams also finished the night with three hits, going 3-for-5 with a stolen base. Trowbridge suffered the loss for the Chippewas, giving up five runs - four earned - on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six in the four-plus innings of work.
The Chippewas and Ragin' Cajuns will continue their series Saturday with a doubleheader at "Tigue" Moore Field with game one of the doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.