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Grading the Cajuns’ Performance Against Arkansas St – From the Bird’s Nest

Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com
Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns were awfully good in all three phases of their game this weekend against Arkansas State.  When that happens, you’re usually going to win and that was the case as the Cajuns swept the Red Wolves by scores of 8-0, 13-2 and 3-2.

Breaking it down, here are my grades for the Cajuns over the weekend:

OFFENSE:  A-minus—The Cajuns hit .333 for the weekend and averaged double-digit hits.  Even more encouraging is eleven of those hits went for extra bases.  The  Cajuns’ slugging percentage, which was near the bottom of the league a few weeks ago, is now in the middle of the pack.  The coaches’ decision to move Brad Antchak into the two hole paid dividends, especially Friday, when the top three in the order did almost all the damage.  Oh, and, ready for this?  The Cajuns walked 19 times over the weekend and struck out only 13.  Now, they failed to get a couple of bunts down and struggled to hit with runners on base Sunday.  Hence the minus.  But it was one of the better weekends the Cajuns have had all season.

PITCHING:  A-minus–Three games.  Four runs.  The Cajuns’ pitching staff allowed just 16 hits the entire weekend and only two of those went for extra bases.  The Cajuns’ bullpen was unreal, as Wyatt Marks and Evan Guillory combined to allow one hit, with one walk and 15 strikeouts over 9.1 innings.  Marks was especially filthy, striking out eleven of the fifteen batters he faced, with a slider that Arkansas State Tommy Raffo called “unhittable.”  Only a total of ten walks, nine from the starters, kept this from being an A-plus.

DEFENSE:  A-Plus:  Errorless baseball throughout the weekend.  The Cajuns made it look easy, handling everything flawlessly.  While the hitting has been up and down and the pitching occasionally shaky, the defense has been a mainstay of this team.  The Cajuns have made multiple errors in a game six times in 35 games and only once in the last 17 games.

A busy week ahead for the Cajuns, as they head to New Orleans tomorrow to take on the Tulane Green Wave.  Wednesday it’s back home against Southeastern Louisiana at M. L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park and then up to Little rock this weekend for a three game series with the Trojans.

ESPN 1420 has the action Tuesday and Wednesday while 96.5 KPEL-FM carries the weekend games.

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