THE WEEKEND SERIES
Dates: Friday-Sunday, March 15-17, 2013
Location: Lafayette, La.
Site: M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field (3,755)
Times: 6:00 p.m. (Fri) | 2:00 p.m. (Sat) | 1:00 p.m. (Sun)
Opponent: ULM (8-9, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Radio: News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and SportsRadio ESPN 1420 KPEL-AM (Friday)
Television: MyKLAF (Saturday)
Internet Broadcast Link: 96.5 KPEL-FM and 1420 KPEL-AM
Live Stats/Video: http://www.RaginCajuns.com
Friday: LHP Ryan Wilson (UL) vs. RHP Carey Taylor (ULM)
Saturday: RHP Austin Robicahaux (UL) vs. RHP Cale Wine (ULM)
Sunday: LHP Cody Boutte (UL) vs. LHP Alex Dumaine (ULM)
The Ragin' Cajuns baseball team returns to M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field for the start of Sun Belt Conference play Friday-Sunday, March 15-17 meeting in-state rival ULM. The series with the Warhawks opens a 10-week stretch of conference battles to finish out the 2013 season.
The Sun Belt Conference has continued the schedule model that features teams facing their geographic rival twice – at the start of league play and end of league play – to keep the league schedule at 30 games. Louisiana and ULM begin SBC play this weekend at “The Tigue” and conclude league play May 16-18 in Monroe.
YEAR NO. 22 IN SUN BELT
The Cajuns are entering their 22nd season of competition in the Sun Belt Conference. Since joining the league in 1992, Louisiana has accrued a league mark of 344-212 (.619) and claimed six conference championships
PASSED THE TEST
The Cajuns proved they could win away from “The Tigue”. After spending the first three weekends at home, Louisiana took in its first road series at Southern Miss last weekend and came away with a series victory, outscoring the Golden Eagles 22-5 after falling in the series opener.
Louisiana's series win at Southern Miss kept the team perfect (4-for-4) in weekend series, having earned the series win each weekend thus far in 2013.
THE ULM SERIES (Louisiana leads 66-52)
Louisiana holds the all-time lead, but the series record has been even since the Warhawks joined the Sun Belt in 2007 with the teams splitting 24 meetings. The Cajuns are 2-7 against ULM at “The Tigue” in SBC play. The Warhawks swept the Cajuns in the 2012 season finale at “The Tigue” which prevented Louisiana from qualifying for the SBC Tournament. Louisiana had won three of the previous four series prior to the Warhawks' sweep. Louisiana is 23-18 vs. ULM in the Tony Robichaux era.
After having a midweek game with UNO postponed due to the Privateers being unable to travel (mid-term exams), Louisiana made its first road trip of 2013 traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., to meet Southern Miss at Pete Taylor Park. USM built a 6-0 lead after three innings and followed the complete game effort from Andrew Pierce to a 9-2 series opener victory on Friday. UL drew even on Saturday, exploding for 11 runs over the middle innings to break open a 4-3 contest. Cord Cockrell held USM scoreless and to just three hits over the final 4 1/3 innings as the Cajuns won 13-4. On Sunday, Austin Robichaux no-hit USM through four complete, then after USM scored in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 3-1 the Cajuns executed three straight bunts in the sixth to recapture the momentum in a 9-1 win. Ryan Wilson and Matt Hicks combined for four innings of scoreless relief as the Golden Eagles went down quietly.
Matt Hicks has made eight appearances out of the bullpen and has left with a decision – either a win or save – without defeat all but one time. In his first seven appearances he left with either a win (2) or a save (5). His eighth appearance came with UL ahead 5-1 in the eighth inning on Sunday at USM, a non-save situation.
Six of the Cajuns 13 victories have come by six-plus runs. In the games they won, Louisiana's average margin of victory is 4.9 runs per game.
WINNING MULTIPLE WAYS
A glance at the Cajuns results shows the squad has gabbed its 13 victories in a variety of ways. Louisiana has won when scoring double figure runs (CMU, NSU, UTSA, USM). The Cajuns have won the games pitchers dominated (Feb. 24 vs. UTSA/Feb. 27 vs. Nicholls). And, the squad has rallied to win in the final at bat (Feb. 16 vs. CMU/March 3 vs. SHU).
Louisiana already has 11 hitters reach double digit hits, ranging from 11 hits to 17 hits. Each game of the USM series at least seven of UL's nine starters posted a hit.
In four of his last five career starts, sophomore pitcher Austin Robichaux has held the opposition to four hits or less.
Michael Strentz, the Cajuns starting catcher, suffered a hand injury after being hit by a pitch in the second inning on Sunday vs. Sacred Heart. The redshirt sophomore, who missed all but eight games in 2012 with Tommy John, sat out the entire USM series. The coaching staff is targeting the ULM series (March 15-17) for his return.
THIS ‘N THAT
- Louisiana carries an 11-2 mark at “The Tigue” into the ULM series. The Cajuns accrued the mark on their season-opening, 13-game homestand (Feb. 15-March 3)
- Louisiana has scored first nine times and sports an unblemished mark when doing so (9-0)
- The infield combo of Chase Compton (1B), Jace Conrad (2B), Blake Trahan (SS) and Sam Carriere (3B) has committed only seven errors in a combined 290 chances
- Five saves for Matt Hicks marks a new personal single-season best (previous was four in 2012)
- After four weeks of play, the Ragin' Cajuns hold a +40 run differential over the opposition outscoring foes 112-72
- Jace Conrad began the season with a string of 54 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout
- Louisiana has produced 54 runs in the middle innings and has outscored the opposition 54-28
- Caleb Adams' three home runs Saturday, March 2 vs. Sacred Heart made him the first Cajun with three home runs since Kolin Hatfield hit three at FIU on March 31, 2007
- Dex Kjerstad has hit leadoff in 12 of 14 appearances. He has hit safely 5 of last 6 games
- Taking the place of Michael Strentz (hand injury) in Hattiesburg vs. Southern Miss, Blake Trahan hit .357 (5-of-14) during the series
- Tyler Girouard tops the team with a .758 slugging percentage. Nearly half of 13 hits have gone for extra bases (2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR)
- Tony Robichaux is one of 22 active Division I head coaches with 900 career victories at the Division I level (907-619-1)
- Counting his two-year junior college stint (one season at both LSU-Shreveport and LSU-Eunice), Cody Boutte has recorded 19 career victories
- Blake Trahan is the only true freshman in the starting lineup. He's made only one error through 69 chances and has posted at least one base hit in 11 of 15 appearances