The Grind-Cajuns Host Texas State [VIDEO]
The Ragin' Cajuns are picking up steam heading into the back end of the season, and Texas State comes to town this weekend in a bit of a slump.
The Bobcats are on a five game losing streak and dropped seven of their last eight games, but let's slow it down for a second. Tony Robichaux's Cajuns won three of four games last week, and they did so in dramatic fashion. Let's digest last week one bite at a time.
A series win over Southeastern not only helped the Cajuns' RPI, it tested their gut. Three games in two different parks, and the pitching was solid.
Gunner Leger, Eric Carter and Dylan More were locked in during Game One at M.L. Tigue Moore Field. They only allowed one hit in the 4-1 victory, and Brenn Conrad and Joe Robbins backed them up with blasts over the wall. Gunner got it to the 8th inning, and Carter and Moore iced the game to perfection. Their 1-2 punch at the end of the game is hard to beat.
Game Two was all Southeastern. Jameson Fisher and the heart of the Lions' lineup went off for 16 runs to even the series, and Wyatt Marks wasn't the only pitcher that got touched up. The Lions were swinging hot bats in Hammond, and the game simply didn't go the Cajuns way.
The rubber match was why we all love baseball. The Cajuns pulled off a 5-4 comeback, with all five runs coming in the sixth inning. A few different Cajuns attacked the gaps for extra base hits in the rally, and then it was Carter and Moore's turn again. Same pitchers, same result. Game over.
After picking up the series victory over a salty Southeastern team, it was time to refocus in the midweek.
Instead of playing two games, the Ragin' Cajuns only got one in, thanks to some poor weather. Nichols State gave them a test on Tuesday, but they pulled out a second comeback in a three day span.
The Colonels jumped out to the early 3-0 lead in the third inning, so it was an uphill climb the rest of the way out. The Cajuns chipped one run off in the fourth inning, then they broke out for three more runs in the seventh to give Evan Guillory his fourth win of the season. Brian Mills sealed the 4-3 win with a double, extending his hit streak to seven games, and Eric Carter picked up his second save of the season. Clutch work, all around.
Brian Mills and Joe Robbins made a strong case for this week's Grinder of the Week, but I had to give it to Eric Carter.
Carter might be the most improved player on the Cajuns' roster, and he's serving as Moore's setup man at the end of games. He's basically a second closer for Coach Robe, only he comes in an inning earlier. He pitched in all three wins, and if this were the MLB he would have collected two holds and a save. He added a cutter into his repertoire this season, and it's working wonders.
Can you feel the momentum building? It should be a fun weekend at "The Tigue." Time to give you the scoop on Texas State.
The Bobcats are 21-17 (9-6 Sun Belt), but as I mentioned before, they're currently in a cold spell. Seven losses in the last eight games isn't pretty.
Their two top starters, Lucas Humpal and Jeremy Hallonquist, can battle it out with the best of them, but their team ERA of 4.24 is an indication of the depth behind them. If the Cajuns get going early, it could be a long weekend in Lafayette for the Bobcats.
If it turns into a home run derby, they have a big bat waiting in the wings. Tanner Hill has 13 HR's on the season, but the 250-lb senior from San Marcos also leads the team with 25 strikeouts. Go big or go home. If the game is tight, see if he will chase a few, but don't leave Hill anything pretty.
There are 18 games left before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Think of how much this team improved the last few weeks. A few more wins against Texas State would keep the ball rolling. Postseason will be here before you know it...