LSU blows late lead, loses to UL-Lafayette in Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic
Consecutive homers by Orryn Vellion and Handsome Monica in Louisiana-Lafayette’s three-run eighth inning boosted the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 6-5 victory over LSU in the 16th annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic on Tuesday night at Metairie’s Shrine on Airline.
The Tigers (24-14) took a 5-3 lead with a two-run fifth inning. But UL-Lafayette reliever Jacob Schultz blanked LSU the rest of the way, allowing just two hits in the final four innings.
It was the fourth straight win by Louisiana-Lafayette (20-20) over the Tigers and dropped LSU’s record to 4-4 this season against in-state teams.
Until Veillon’s two-run blast and Monica’s solo shot off LSU freshman reliever Trent Vietmeier, the Tigers’ seventh and last pitcher of the night, it looked like former New Orleans area star Cade Beloso would be the hero.
The LSU freshman first baseman, who led John Curtis to consecutive state championships in 2017 and 2018, knocked in four runs including a game-tying three-run homer.
UL-Lafayette took a 2-0 in the second inning off LSU reliever Chase Costello, who walked the first two batters he faced.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took advantage, with right fielder Veillon cracking an RBI single and first baseman Monica’s RBI sacrifice fly.
After UL-Lafayette added another run in the third, the Tigers tied the game on one swing in the fourth inning with Beloso’s three-run home run off the right field foul pole.
Beloso added an RBI single in LSU’s two-run fifth when the Tigers grabbed their first lead of the game at 5-3.
It seemed the lead would hold until Vietmeier took the mound for LSU in the eighth. He was in trouble from the start allowing a lead-off single.
One out later, Veillon tied the game with a two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch. Two pitches later, Monica launched what proved to be the game-winning homer.
LSU returns to action Thursday night in Alex Box Stadium when the Tigers open a three-game series against Florida. LSU is 9-6 in league play, one game behind conference co-leaders Georgia and Mississippi State.