The Cajuns played a sloppy defensive game and it cost them in a midweek loss to Nicholls State, who has now topped the two premier programs in the state this season.
It wasn’t all bad for the Cajuns, but there were plenty of things they can work on after Wednesday’s effort.
First, the good.
- RARELY USED PITCHERS: Connor Toups hasn’t gotten much of a chance this season to get a lot of work in, but he made the most of his six innings Wednesday despite being credited with the loss. Of the eight hits Nicholls picked up off him, only four left the infield and all three of his runs were unearned. This was only his second appearance of the season, but he didn’t show much rust. He was aggressive in the zone and did not walk a batter. He would’ve walked away a winner if the defense backed him up. The same goes for Nick Zaunbrecher and Reagan Bazar, both of whom last appeared in a game on March 4 against Northwestern State. No rust from those two, who cruised through three scoreless innings allowing just one base runner.
- STEFAN TROSCLAIR: Tuesday night’s hero came up with the lone big hit of the ball game when he lined a double into the left field corner to drive in the Cajuns only run of the night. He also got a ninth-inning rally started with a five-pitch walk to open the frame. After getting off to a hot start, Trosclair went into a 3-for-23 skid and was out of the lineup for four consecutive games. But he’s started each of the last five and has rediscovered his stroke a bit, with seven hits in his last 21 at bats. He’s also on a five-game hitting streak.
- RALLY TIME: It was not a good overall night for Cajuns hitters, but they made a game of it late, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. They weren’t able to cash in on the opportunity, but after so much didn’t go their way early, it was a good sign to see the team battling hard in the ninth.
- KENNON FONTENOT: This space is not intended to pile on a young player looking for answers, but the Cajuns have got to figure out what’s going on with their young infielder. He let a routine ground ball roll between his legs Wednesday, which means he’s now tied for the team lead in errors (6) despite only playing in nine games. Tony Robichaux was high on Fontenot before the year, and I don’t think this is representative of his talent as a fielder. Maybe his early season struggles have gotten in his head, but at this point he’s a liability on the defensive end. The good thing is he has a lot of time to turn around what’s been an inauspicious start as an infielder, and my bet is that he does it.
- TOO HOT CORNER: Tyler Girouard was out of the starting lineup again with hamstring soreness — something Robichaux said was precautionary — but the Cajuns could use him back out there. Brenn Conrad made a pair of costly errors while playing third, and Joe Robbins made another immediately after he replaced Conrad at third. Girouard made another pinch-hit appearance in the ninth, when he slapped an opposite field single to make the Cajuns’ rally serious, but they need him back in the field.
- QUIET STICKS: The Cajuns have been a very good offensive club all year, but they couldn’t muster much against the Colonels’ pitching staff. They were held without a hit for the first three innings, and had only five before the ninth inning rally started. It might’ve been enough to win the game had the defense played up to standards, but the Cajuns needed more than that Wednesday night.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
4 – Errors committed by the Cajuns infield, three of which directly led to Nicholls State runs.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“It’s a real simple game, you pitch, you play defense and you hit. Tonight we did one thing. You can’t do one thing and expect to win.” Robichaux, who has a knack for making complicated things simple.
LIAR OF THE NIGHT
The wonderful and talented Jay Walker of ESPN 1420 decided to have a little fun with me over the air during his broadcast by saying how much I love John Fogerty’s Centerfield during the seventh inning stretch. He even went as far as saying on his broadcast that I sing it in the shower. Those of you who read this blog or follow me on Twitter simply know that’s untrue (though I hope nobody really knows what I sing in the shower), but of course I can’t defend myself against the guy with the microphone. That’s a low blow, Jay…
Bad things happen when you leave the keys in the ignition of your vehicle, like one idiot (read: me) did Wednesday night. Worse, it was my motorcycle, which of course does not have locks or doors. Somebody could’ve easily stolen my bike. Thankfully, the good folks attending the game left their thieving hats at home, and instead my battery just died. Moral of the story: Don’t be a dummy, take your keys with you.
Maybe I shouldn’t be evaluating the performance of others after a night like tonight? Nah.