Next 13 Games Critical for Busy Cajuns
We're about to find out a lot about this Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns baseball team.
They're going to be very, very busy and by the time the next 13 games are in the books, we'll know where this team stands concerning their position in the Sun Belt Conference and the potential of continuing their season after the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
With the pitching staff more depleted than ever with injuries to Seth Harrison and Chase Traffica, here's a look at what they're facing.
APRIL 12-14 At Arkansas-Little Rock--It's not easy at Gary Hogan Field. Ask ULM who got swept there a couple of weeks ago. From an offensive standpoint, the Cajuns are much better suited for this tiny ballpark than they've been in the past. UALR leads the league in homers (no shock, given the park) and are very capable of scoring runs. They've scored six runs or more five times in league play.
Chance Cleveland (4-4, 2.31) isn't the best pitcher in the league when you look at stats, but there's a reason why he was the SBC Preseason Pitcher of the Year and an all-conference selection a year ago. He's one of the best Friday night guys the Cajuns will face. Tony Robichaux is shaking up the rotation for this weekend to match Austin Robichaux with Cleveland. Beating the right hander is the key for the Cajuns to win this series.
TUE, APRIL 16 - At Nicholls State--Cajuns won the meeting at "the Tigue" 5-1. This is not your daddy's Nicholls State team. That game in Lafayette was 1-1 going into the eighth and Ryan Wilson, who started that game, is now in the weekend rotation. Nicholls is 16-18, but they've beaten Tulane twice and South Alabama, among others.
WED, APR. 17-At Northwestern State--This will be the continuation of the game from this past Wednesday night. Cajuns have the lead in the fourth inning, 3-0.
FRI, APR 18-20 Florida Atlantic--Statistically, lefty Austin Gomber is the best pitcher in the league.and FAU has the best team ERA. Offensively, they don't put up as many runs, mainly because they usually don't have to. Hugh Adams, injured last year, is the league leader in saves.
TUE, APR 23 at McNeese State-There have been many seasons the Cajuns have won in Lafayette but lost in Lake Charles. With two mid-week games, Tony will have to choose carefully in this game and....
WED, APR 24 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA - Cajuns won in Hammond as Chase Traffica pitched extremely well. SLU hasn't scored a ton of runs, but their pitching is pretty solid.
THUR, APR 25 - Travel Day to Miami
FRI-SUN APR 26-29 at FIU--Panthers are always dangerous at home. They've been somewhat inconsistent both offensively and in the pitching department. But they're capable of putting it together on any given weekend. They're going to score some runs in this series. This Cajuns team is better suited for this park than many past teams with the wind usually blowing out to left field. Of course, we said that about Murfreesboro as well.
The Cajuns are off on the two Mondays and one Thursday. Other than that, they're either traveling, playing ball, or both. Now, after this stretch, they play only one more mid-week game, which helps considerably.
Time for the pitchers besides the weekend starters to take a step forward. They're critical during this next stretch.