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Baseball: Bayou Boys take Cajuns baseball Omaha Cup

The Daily Advertiser, Nov. 18, 2015

The Bayou Boys claimed the annual Ragin’ Cajuns baseball Omaha Cup by a total of 3,337.7 to 2,867.5 over the Swampers after sweeping the Fall World Series at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field last weekend.

“We thought that we had a really good fall,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “We were pretty fortunate to come out of the fall with no injuries. We came into the fall wanting to find out what our weaknesses are, and I thought we were able to do that. So now we can take the next couple of weeks when the guys get back to start to fill the weakest areas that we have. We feel they can all be fixed, which is a good thing.

“We limited our front line arms that threw a lot last year to get them through this fall with no injuries. The biggest key from us now is to get our junior college transfers to give us the age that we have needed. That’s why we went junior college in those areas. And then we need our freshmen from last year to get to another level. The toughest part for us is to sit and whittle this roster down to 35.”

The Bayou Boys held a slim lead, 2887.5-2867.5, over the Swampers headed into the Fall World series. The Bayou Boys were able to pull away earning 100 points for winning game one 5-4, 150 points for winning game two 3-1, and 200 points for winning the series to claim the Omaha Cup.

Stefan Trosclair, Ryne Ray, Brian Mills and Cameron Horton each hit home runs to guide the Bayou Boys to the series sweep.

“I thought Hunter Kasuls did a good job for a freshman at very tough position playing shortstop,” Robichaux stated. “Kennon Fontenot came back and had a very good fall for us, which we needed. He’s a guy that’s got experience now. Derek Herrington came back and had a very good fall for us, and it was good that Trosclair was able to move over to first base for us because I think that is something that we will need. We are young over at first base outside of Trosclair. I though both Cameron Horton and Jake Wharton did a good job there.

“Overall I thought the whole team did well this fall. We try not to judge too much on the fall because you have guys that are playing and thinking at the same time. The hitters are trying to pick up the pack system, and the pitchers are trying to pick up our pitching system. We judge the most on when they get back. Those three to four weeks before opening day are really important. We hope that now somebody starts to make moves. The system should be internalized now and the guys should be able to start playing instead of thinking and playing.”

The Cajuns will have a young rotation again in 2016 with sophomores Gunner Leger, Wyatt Marks and Evan Guillory joined by freshmen standouts Nick Lee and Hogan Harris. The Cajuns pitching staff led the Sun Belt in fewest walks allowed and innings pitched, and had the second lowest ERA (3.37) in Robichaux’s tenure with the program.

“We needed to have a couple freshmen pitchers pitch above their chronological age this fall and we got that,” Robichaux said. “We feel that we need to get better behind the plate after Nick Thurman. And like I said, we need the junior college guys to step up. In the fall you have to back up to go forward. These guys have now seen Division I arms, so they know what they need to do to prepare themselves for the season. So now when they start to prepare to get better in the spring, they know how to because they have been facing such quality Division I arms. I think that’s what will ultimately happen to us. These hitters have faced a lot of good arms this fall, and that will do nothing but make them better for this upcoming spring.”

Louisiana returns to action in January with individual workouts before opening the 2016 season on Feb. 19-21 at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field against Sam Houston State.

“Now that we know where we are, we need to continue to go work,” Robichaux added. “A lot of people think that now that the fall is over I can go play around until I get back from Christmas break. The difference maker is who sees how much better they need to get, and uses this break to go do something about it. That’s going to be the difference for us.”