Cajuns Baseball Downright Offensive – From the Bird’s Nest
Last year, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns struggled to a 23-30 record and the main reason was their inability to score runs.
This year, the Cajuns have no such problem.
Last year, the Cajuns hit eighteen home runs as a team. All season.
This year, the top two players in home runs have that many.
The Cajuns, in the latest NCAA statistics are first in the nation in home runs, home runs per game and slugging percentage. They're eighth in hitting, seventh in hits, sixth in doubles.
You get the picture?
Many point to the newcomers: Dex Kjerstad, Seth Harrison and Caleb Adams as the reason. And, there's no question they are a big part of the improvement. But some of the guys who took their lumps last year: Jace Conrad, Ryan Leonards, Tyler Girouard and Dylan Butler are getting the job done as well. Michael Strentz is back healthy after getting only 30 at bats a year ago.
Add it all up and you have a lineup with very few holes.
April has been a great month for the Cajuns' offense: The team is hitting .337 in April (.318 overall) and slugging .552 (.495 overall). Butler and Kjerstad have put up really gaudy numbers: Butler is hitting .478 for the month and slugging .956. Kjerstad is hitting .442 and slugging .935. Ryan Leonards is hitting .381 in April.
In fact, of the players who are now regulars, only Strentz (.257/.454) has numbers that are quite a bit lower than when he started the month. But Strentz has driven in 14 runs this month and is tied for the team lead in RBI.
The Cajuns have also been better as a pitching staff, with an ERA under 4.00 for the month, which has moved them to 4th in the Sun Belt (4.20).
But this year, when people in college baseball talk about the Cajuns, they talk about the offense. Now averaging over seven runs per game, this team is never out of a game.
The opposition finds that offensive.