Baseball to kick off season at Southeastern
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team will head to Hammond to take part in a four-team tournament hosted by Southeastern Louisiana.
On Friday night, the Cajuns will take on the host team, which features a matchup of two of the premier pitchers in college baseball. Junior left-handed pitcher Gunner Leger will face-off against junior Mac Sceroler from Southeastern.
Sceroler finished with 10 wins and a 2.25 ERA, which was fourth best in the Southland Conference last season. Sceroler was ranked as the second best prospect in the Southland conference by Baseball America, while also being named the preseason Southland Conference pitcher of the year by two other national publications.
The Lions, as a team, were picked to finish second in the conference in the Southland preseason poll. The Lions also return sophomore infielder Brennan Breaud, who was the Southland Conference freshman of the year last year after he hit .293 and stole 20 bases. Also returning is junior pitcher Kade Granier, who was the Southland relief pitcher of the year last year. Granier finished with a 1.42 ERA in 37 innings and with 34 strikeouts last year.
The Cajuns will continue in the round-robin style tournament on Saturday afternoon with a matchup against the Murray State Racers out of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Racers finished the 2016 season with a 27-29 record and 15 wins in conference play, which was the most conference wins in program history. The 27 wins were the most for the Racers since 2010.
The Racers, who were picked to finish seventh in the preseason conference poll, return three players who were named to the preseason all-conference list. Senior catcher Tyler Lawrence was the leading hitter last year as he hit .355 with eight home runs and 58 RBIs. Senior first baseman Ramsey Scott also returns after a 2016 campaign where he hit .335 and drove in 63 runs, hitting 13 homers.
The Cajuns will finish their season-opening tournament on Sunday afternoon against the Hofstra Pride. The Pride were picked to finish in last place in the Colonial Athletic Conference in the 2017 conference preseason poll after finishing last year with a 15-37 record and were 5-18 in conference play. The Pride placed one player on the preseason all-conference team with an honorable mention by redshirt senior infielder David Leiderman.
Following the opening weekend tournament, the Cajuns will head to Thibodaux for a midweek matchup against the Nicholls State Colonels. The Colonels went 26-30 in 2016, but they are returning their leading hitter in junior Kyle Knauth who hit .347 last year.