Cajuns’ Baseball 16-3. Bet You Didn’t See THAT Coming…
After last season's 23-30 mark which saw Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns finish dead last in the Sun Belt Conference, the skeptics were out in full force when taking a look at the 2013 season.
And, who could blame them?
But, to those who made it out to see some of the fall or preseason practices and intersquads, this was going to be an improved team in 2013. How improved was the question. With seventeen new players there were a lot of unanswered questions. And, even some of the more optimistic fans suggested with that many new players, there might be a learning curve.
But here the Cajuns are after the first weekend of conference play with a record of 16-3. They barely missed out on making the Collegiate Baseball top 30 this week. And, they started league play with a resounding sweep of Louisiana-Monroe over the weekend.
Now, five weeks into the season, the question becomes, just how good are they?
And, it's still a legitimate question.
ULM isn't a very good hitting club, at least right now. And, the Cajuns don't appear to have that Friday night guy who, with his mere presence, makes you feel like you're up one game to none before you even take the field. But what they do have are a few guys who are going to give you a chance to win, especially with an offense that is infinitely better than the one from a year ago.
Watching this team play, I continue to have questions. But I also have to be fair and say 16-3 is 16-3.
There are many difficult games ahead. The two Florida schools and two Alabama schools are all solid clubs. The Cajuns still must play teams like Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana in non-league games.
And, let's face it. The Cajuns have had sixteen home games and only three on the road.
No, there's still plenty to prove with this team. But there's no denying the Cajuns have a solid pitching staf. There's no question they have one of the league's best closers in Matt Hicks. There's no question Austin Robichaux is starting to step forward and become the ace of the staff while just a sophomore. There's no question the left side of the Cajuns' infield is as good defensively as...well...maybe ever. Blake Trahan and Sam Carriere make the spectacular as well as the routine plays, and both have the arm strength to get it done. The Cajuns have a half dozen options in the outfield and that makes for a nice dilemma for the Cajuns' coaching staff.
No, there's plenty to like with this team. I'm not going to crown them Sun Belt champions by any stretch of the imagination. And, an injury or two at key positions could be critical to this club.
But this is a good baseball team. 16-3 tells me so.