Sports editor discusses baseball strengths, weaknesses
A week in review
The Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team is coming off a three-and-one week where the Cajuns defeated Northwestern State 8-6 in 12 innings in a mid-week matchup before returning home to open the newly renovated M.L.Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. The Cajuns opened their new stadium with a 3-1 win on Friday night against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles from Conference USA. The Cajuns also took the game on Saturday 5-4 against the Eagles before dropping the series finale on Sunday in extra innings in a game in which the Cajuns were plagued by bad pitching and bad defense, committing three errors in the game. The Cajuns were up by six runs on Sunday before they ended up having to use eight different pitchers to get through the contest.
“Even though we lost today we still had a 3-1 week,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “It’s something we are going to have to build on. We had a chance to win an ugly game at the end there if we get the squeeze down. It’s tough to sweep a team, but if we play good defense and limit the number of walks we could have come away with this one today.”
Looking ahead to next week
The Cajuns have four games again this week as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a mid-week matchup before returning home for a weekend series against the Peacocks from St. Peter’s University. While the Cajuns are entering the fourth week of their season, the Peacocks are just beginning their season this week as they take LIU-Brooklyn in their first game of the season before heading to Lafayette.
The Peacocks, who are based in Jersey City, New Jersey, finished their 2016 season with a 10-42 record and a 5-19 record in conference play, in which they competed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The Peacocks also have a new coach in Danny Ramirez, who is the first full-time head coach in program history, and also feature a roster with only 23 players while the Cajuns have 35 for reference.
Where the Cajuns stack up
The Cajuns are led offensively by freshman outfielder Todd Lott who is hitting a team-leading .394 with one homer and 18 RBI after last weekend’s games. Senior first baseman, Alex Pinero is second on the team in hitting with a .385 batting average and a team-leading nine RBI. The Cajuns are now hitting .259 as a team.
On the mound, the Cajuns have been solid behind juniors Gunner Leger, Wyatt Marks and Dylan Moore. Moore has already picked up four saves in the young season and is tied for the Sun Belt Conference career record in saves with 31. Marks has an earned run average of 0 in 12 innings and has struck out more than half the batters he has faced with 20 in 37 total plate appearances against him.
The Cajuns are ranked 15 in the D1Baseball poll, 17 in the National College Baseball Writers Association poll, 15 in Baseball America Poll and are 34 in RPI in the early stages of the season.