Cajuns Host #15 Coastal Carolina
If the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are to be a contender for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the push begins tonight.
Louisiana (26-20, 12-9) hosts league leader and 15th ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (31-14, 17-4) in a three game Sun Belt series beginning tonight at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park. Game times are 6:30 Friday, 6:00 Saturday and 1:00 Sunday and can be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM with pre-game beginning 30 minutes before the first pitch.
The pitching matchups for the weekend are:
FRIDAY: CCU: RHP Zach Hopeck (4-3. 3.96) vs. LA: LHP Colten Schmidt (5-0, 1.69)
SATURDAY: CCU: RHP Jason Bilous (6-1, 3.24) vs. LA: LHP Hogan Harris (3-1, 2.62)
Both teams are TBA for Sunday
Coastal Carolina brings a potent offense into Russo Park this weekend. The Chants are nationally ranked in walks (3rd, 269), Runs (4th, 370), scoring (4th, 8.2) doubles (4th, 109) Home Runs (7th, 59) Slugging Pct. (8th, .483), and on base percentage (.406, 11th). All those marks are best in the Sun Belt.
Parker Chavers (.314), Seth Lancaster (.303) and Cory Wood (.301) are the leading hitters for the Chanticleers. Kevin Woodall, Jr. leads the Sun Belt and is third in the nation with 16 home runs and leads the team with 53 RBI. Lancaster has 12 home runs and leads the team in slugging (.606) and on base percentage (.456). Overall, Coastal hits .287 as a team.
Head coach Gary Gilmore sits ninth among active coaches with 1,137 career wins including his time at Division II USC-Aiken. Louisiana coach Tony Robichaux is 11th with 1,115 wins.
Both teams have had to deal with injuries to their respective pitching staffs. CCU lost relievers Austin Kinchen and Bobby Holmes for the year before the season started and Scott Kobos had to have elbow surgery after just four appearances. Louisiana, meanwhile, lost reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Gunner Leger before the season started, while Saturday starter Hogan Harris missed a month with a strained oblique and closer Logan Stoelke missed 2 1/2 weeks with a pulled groin.
This will be only the 15th game on the road for Coastal this season. The Chants are 9-5 away from Springs Brooks Stadium. The Chanticleers will host Little Rock next weekend before closing the Sun Belt schedule at Appalachian State, while the Cajuns travel to Texas State before hosting ULM.