Cajuns Picked To Win Sun Belt, Four Named All-Conference
Tony Robichaux's Ragin's Cajuns are programmed to ignore preseason rankings, but they were showered with praise by the Sun Belt Conference.
The Ragin' Cajuns received 8 of 11 first place votes to win the conference, and four Cajun players were named to the preseason All-Sun Belt team. Pitchers Gunner Leger and Dylan Moore made the squad along with 2B Stefan Trosclair and OF Kyle Clement, but the recognition should come as no surprise. The Cajuns consistently remind the rest of the country that baseball is alive and well in South Louisiana.
Leger and Moore came out as freshman and smashed the thought that last season was going to be a rebuilding period for Coach Robe.
Moore's funky motion out of the bullpen produced a wicked 1.60 ERA and 13 saves in his first year on campus, and he struck out more batters (40 K's) than he allowed hits to (39). It's going to be a parade of talented arms for the Cajuns this season, but opposing teams better not let Moore get to the mound with the lead in his back pocket. He's not only the closer, he's a finisher. There's a slight difference, but batters know what I'm talking about.
In terms of fantastic freshmen, Leger might lead the list. The Barbe High School product made multiple Freshman All-American teams last season, so his name shouldn't surprise anybody on the preseason Sun Belt list.
Leger was a workhorse, leading the conference with 114 innings pitched. He also started more games than any other pitcher in the Sun Belt (18), which was good for fourth in the nation. He went eight innings deep several times in the season, and he only allowed a single run in the Sun Belt Championship Game when the Cajuns needed him most. Some people worry about a sophomore slump, but Coach Robe certainly won't worry about his strikeout machine (87 K's in 2015).
Consistency is a thing of beauty in baseball. When you can count on somebody, they make your lineup dangerous. Clement led the team in batting average, swatting an impressive .346 mark for the year, but his glove flashed a lot of fancy leather in the outfield as well.
Clement brings a solid senior presence to the lineup. He lights up the gaps when pitchers make mistakes (2nd on team with 17 doubles and 8 HR's), but the most pop still lives in Trosclair's bat.
As a newcomer to Cajun Nation last season, Trosclair led the team in home runs (16) and RBI's (53), and he came second in batting average (.338) and stolen bases (15). He will be avoided by a lot of pitchers in his senior season, but they might regret letting a competitor like him get on the base paths.
Opening day is February 19th at M.L. Tigue Moore Field, and Cajun Nation set another record for season ticket purchases this year. The wait is almost over, baseball fans.