From the Bird’s Nest: So far, so good
I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago and looked at a fourteen game stretch that the Cajuns would have to get through before the last five weeks of the season.
It started with a three game series against Florida Atlantic at home. Then the Cajuns would play ten of eleven on the road.
We're a little over halfway through that stretch and the Cajuns have equated themselves well, so far.
The Cajuns got the three game sweep over FAU, went to Rice and won, but then dropped two of three at Western Kentucky. Last night the Cajuns blew out McNeese State 12-3 in game eight of the stretch.
Six wins, two losses. Could it have been better. Yes, but not by much. The Cajuns might have been able to win Saturday's game against WKU, but the Toppers defense turned a crucial double play to negate a potential rally.
Last night, in the only home game in an eleven game stretch, the Cajuns gave up two runs in the first inning to the Cowboys, but Alex Fuselier sent a message on the second pitch in the bottom of the first. His home run to right field cut the McNeese lead in half, and before the inning was over, the game was tied.
One of the things that the Cajuns have done all season is play good defense. And, in this eight game stretch, the Cajuns have not given up an unearned run. And, last night's game illustrated how important that is.
McNeese made an error in the third inning and the Cajuns responded with five runs after two were out. All runs unearned. And, the Cajuns got another unearned run later in the game. All season long the Cajuns have given up twenty unearned runs. Last night's two errors gave McNeese 46 unearned runs on the season.
The Cajuns pounded out fifteen hits last night. And, Tony Robichaux was able to susbtitute freely as the game went on and gave the starting lineup a few innings off. Ryan Leonards got his first significant action at shortstop and was part of two of the four double plays the Cajuns turned last night. He'll be a good one when Greg Fontenot leaves.
Six more to go in this stretch, all on the road. Tonight, it's a trip to Natchitoches to take on Northwestern State's Demons, who surprised LSU last night 5-2. While the Cajuns are undefeated on Tuesday, they are winless on Wednesday. This game is a big RPI buster that would be compounded with a loss. This weekend it's off to FIU, which has a solid RPI despite a less than spectacular record. Then next week it's a return trip to McNeese followed by a road game at Southern. The game against the Jaguars will mark the final midweek road game of the season.
After that, Louisiana plays eleven of its last seventeen games at home, including conference series against South Alabama, UALR amd Middle Tennessee. The Cajuns will have a very tough road trip at league-leading Troy, who has never won a series against the Cajuns since joining the league in 2006.
6-2 in this stretch is pretty good. The next six games will tell the rest of the story.