Cajun Errors Lead To Loss In Lake Charles
Four Cajun errors gave McNeese State an early lead, then they piled on in the 8th inning for a 7-2 final scoreline on Wednesday.
The loss in Lake Charles drops the Ragin' Cajuns to 5-4 on the year, and it might knock them out of the national rankings. Tony Robichaux's team is trying to figure it out offensively without Kyle Clement (broken hand), and they didn't do the things necessary in the field to keep the game close. Coach Robe didn't try to sugarcoat the loss after the game either.
"We lost a good hitter in Clem, and we have to try to grind this out and pitch better and play defense," Robichaux said. Later, he added, "We can't be run beggers. We're going to have to lock this down. Defensively, we can't bring lack of hitting into the field."
It really wasn't Evan Guillory's fault on the mound. He pitched pretty well in his five innings on the mound, allowing only one earned run (full box score). The four early errors led to two unearned runs that let McNeese State's starter, Austin Sanders, relax in the saddle.
In baseball, you can't give your opponent second chances and easy runs. The mistakes in the field helped run up Guillory's pitch count, and a team that pulled off five double plays the day before fell apart defensively.
"We made some errors that gave them cheap runs, and then they settled in," Robichaux said with a little frustration.
Eric Carter allowed two runs out of the bullpen in two innings of work, and Logan Stoelke got lit up in the 8th inning in his first taste of action this season. Credit to McNeese, who took their chance to pile onto the lead and ran with it. The Cajuns didn't quit in the 9th inning, where they added their second and final run of the game, but it was way too little and definitely too late.
Midweek games on the road are always a difficult task, regardless of the opponent. Tony Robichaux wasn't giving his team a pass.
For a team that was picked to win the conference and garner national attention, the issues at the beginning of the season are starting to pile up. There's a lot of season left to correct the course of the ship, but Coach Robe didn't like how his team finished out the game against McNeese State.
He could have tolerated a close loss, but his team let the wheels fall off at the end with a four run inning.
"Even if we lose this, we have to lose this three to one," Robichaux told Jay Walker after the game.
Robichaux pointed out that his team lost every single game this year when they allowed a three run inning. Giving up the big inning is on the top of his "DON'T" list, and every time they broke his rule this year, they lost.
When things get tough, teams turn to their veterans. Senior leaders Stefan Trosclair and Nick Thurman, who had the only RBI's against McNeese, might have to step up and give this team some extra guidance. Whatever the issue is, the Cajuns are going to have to fix it over the next month without one of their most consistent hitters (Clement).
The Cajuns will have a chance to get the bats going at home this weekend against Sacred Heart, but the bus trip home from Lake Charles is going to be a rough ride.