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Baseball: Cajun fans pile in to cheer the beard

Jessica Goff, The Advertiser, June 8, 2014


Camden Babineaux, 10, poses for a photo before UL plays Ole Miss Saturday, June 7, 2014, in the first game of the 2014 NCAA Division Super Regional baseball tournament at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, La.(Photo: Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser)

The beer was cold and the boudin was hot outside M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field as tailgaters lingered all day Saturday leading up to NCAA Super Regional Tournament.

Some had tickets to the game, other fans just planned to stick around outside the field and enjoy the momentum.

“Hey, we are here. We are doing it,” University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Andre David said. He and his friends, including Patrick Swinney, also a UL student, had been tailgating outside the Tigue since 11 a.m. that morning.

“It’s been 14 years since we’ve been this close,” David said. “Last year was close. We lost the Baton Rouge Regional.”

The Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team and UL athletics overall in the last year have put the school and Lafayette in the national spotlight, fans said Saturday.

“It puts us on the map,” Swinney said. “We are moving up in the world.”

A few days ago, Matthew Stevens, a beat writer for The Commercial Dispatch, received some backlash from UL fans and residents after he called Lafayette the “worst place in America.”

It’s now water under the bridge, Swinney said.

“That’s fine. It’s his own personal opinion,” Swinney said. “We know that this is where it’s at. We actually got a good laugh about it.”

Stewart and Deena Fulton had tickets to Saturday night’s game, but they were hard to come by, they said.

Deena Fulton also noted UL’s stellar athletic year.

“UL’s recruiting has been phenomenal in the last year,” she said. “They have worked so hard to get all the best players here and it has really showed a difference.”

The Fultons were tailgating with several friends, including Ole Miss fan Kyle Killebrew, of Durant, Mississippi.

Killebrew said he felt nothing but love from Cajuns fans.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” he said. “I’ve never had so much hospitality. They’ve welcomed me with open arms.”