Cajuns baseball set for weekend play against Red Wolves
A week in review
Often in a battle between two juggernauts, there is a winner and a loser. In the battle on the diamond between the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and the defending national champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, there was no winner as the teams each won a game and tied in the Sunday rubbermatch.
The Friday night matchup featured the two premier pitchers in the Sun Belt Conference as junior pitcher Gunner Leger outdueled senior Alex Cunningham from Coastal. Leger is first in the conference in ERA by a starter at 1.09 and Cunningham is second at 1.85.
On Saturday, the Cajuns had a three-run lead going into the final half of the ninth inning, but were only able to record one out as the Chanticleers scored four runs to beat them 9-8.
In the rubbermatch on Sunday, the two teams played to a 7-7 tie because of travel restrictions for the Cajuns. The Cajuns had a two-run lead going into the ninth inning, but again could not hold it as Coastal scored two runs in the ninth to tie the game. It was the first official tie for the Cajuns since 2009 in a matchup against Nebraska.
Home runs were a problem for the Cajuns, as they gave up five total in the two games on Saturday and Sunday. One of the homers helped spark the four-run ninth inning rally on Saturday. Junior Kevin Woodall Jr. hit two homers for the Chanticleers on the weekend. Woodall leads the conference in homers, with 12 on the year.
“We’ve got to do a better job of closing out the last inning,” said head coach Tony Robichaux. “The difficult part of this is that we were four outs away from getting the sweep, but you have to be able to close the games out.”
What’s ahead for the Cajuns
Hectic travel plans caused the Cajuns to spend Sunday night in Charleston, South Carolina, before bussing back to Louisiana on Monday. The Cajuns then had to stay in Metairie on Monday night before the Wally Pontiff Classic game against Louisiana State University on Tuesday night.
After finally returning home on Tuesday night after five nights away from Lafayette, the Cajuns will play the Arkansas State Red Wolves for a Thursday through Saturday conference series, with this weekend being Easter weekend.
Arkansas State is 18-14 this season and is 7-5 in Sun Belt Conference play coming off a three-game sweep against Georgia State.
Senior infielder Joe Schrimpf is the leading hitter for the Red Wolves with a .343 batting average and is hitting a team leading .382 in conference play.
Speed is also a key for the Red Wolves as the rank first in the conference in triples, while also being very active on the basepaths with 44 on the season, ranking third in the conference.
Arkansas State is tied for third place in the Sun Belt’s Western Division, .5 games behind the Cajuns.