Orynn Veillon had been making his impact for the Ragin’ Cajuns as a slugger.
The former St. Thomas More star entered Friday night’s game against Georgia State as one of University of Louisiana’s best power hitters. Veillon, a graduate transfer from UNO, was second on the team in home runs (9) and RBI (36), while leading the team in slugging percentage (.525).
Yet it was his skills on the base paths that helped the Ragin’ Cajuns edge the Panthers 2-0 at Russo Park on Friday night.
Veillon got on base in the second inning with a single, then proceeded to steal both second and third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Handsome Monica.
“I have been trying to get on base more and use my legs more,” said Veillon who extended his team-best hitting streak to 15 games as he went 2-for-3 on Friday. “The home runs will come but while I am on base I try to cause some chaos.”
Runs and hits were tough to come by in Friday night’s contest.
Georgia State’s Hunter Gaddis was dealing for most of the night as he gave up only the two runs on five hits while striking out 11 batters.
“We had a good plan coming in,” said Veillon, who is hitting .397 with 8 multi-hit game during the streak. “We knew his record really does not reflect the stuff that he has.”
That’s what made Veillon did in the second inning so critical.
“We were very fortunate that Veillon was able to steal two bags and get in on that sac fly,” UL head coach Tony Robichaux said.
UL (23-28, 11-14 SBC) got its second run in the bottom of the fifth.
Former STM star Brennan Breaux reached base on a one-out walk and advanced to third after a double by Tremaine Spears. Breaux would then cross home plate on a passed ball.
“I think they were trying to defend the squeeze with that high pitch but the ball got away from the catcher so he picked up that second run,” Robichaux said.
Gaddis wasn’t the only pitcher dealing.
UL starter Jack Burk held Georgia State (14-36, 5-20) scoreless on only two hits while striking out six. Burk though left the game after experiencing tenderness in his pitching elbow and was replaced in the sixth inning by Austin Perrin.
After giving up a lead off single, Perrin then settled down and struck out the next two batters he faced. In the eighth, Perrin got out of a jam after he gave up a two-out single to Griffin Cheney and then walked Jake Corso. Brandon Bell then took a pitch deep the wall but it stayed inside the park for the final out of the inning.
“They weren’t really seeing the change up well so we went back to it,” said Perrin who gave up three hits, struck out five in four innings of relief work. “I just left it up a little bit but he didn’t really get a good barrel on it. It went far but it was capped.”
The win, and a loss by UL Monroe, put UL in 10th place in the SBC standings — a half game up on the Warhawks. The top ten teams in the league earn berths into the conference tournament. A few more wins this weekend would definitely help the Cajuns chances even more before wrapping up the regular season next week at ULM.
The issue might be whether or not UL will be able to play Saturday’s game as inclement weather is forecasted for the majority of the day and night.
“That’s a tough call,” Robichaux said. “We are going to leave it at four and see what goes on. The biggest thing that worries us is going into Sunday with an 11 o’clock baseball game. I mean if we start a doubleheader it would at 8 in the morning. So hopefully it will do what it did today, burn off some and at least give us a chance to get started.”