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Baseball: Cajuns begin tough week without head coach – video of interview included

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, April 29, 2014


UL coach Tony Robichaux, shown here discussing a call with an umpire during an earlier Sun Belt series, is expected to miss the Cajuns’ next three games for contact with an umpire during Saturday’s loss to Texas State. (Photo: Paul Kieu/The Advertiser )

UL head coach Tony Robichaux on the softball and men’s tennis teams winning conference titles, the Cajuns’ weekend and his upcoming suspension. — Video by Chad Washington, The Advertiser

Click here for video of Coach Robichaux interview.

UL first baseman Chase Compton appeared on TV replay to have had ball-in-glove and foot-on-bag when the initial out call was made, but – after the Cajuns already had run to their dugout – Hudson changed the call.

"You know, it is what it is," Robichaux said Monday. "There’s nothing I can really do about it, as much as whatever they tell me the suspension is that’s what it is."

UL looked into a possible appeal, but there’s no known avenue for one.

The NCAA rule calls for automatic suspension when contact is made – four games upon first offense of the season – and individual conferences have no veto power in the matter.

The number of games involved isn’t tied to the number of brushes or bumps made, either, as was previously thought to be the case.

Robichaux did say he wanted to "make sure the report" from Hudson is accurate.

But he didn’t stop there, and instead proceeded to blast Hudson’s work last Saturday.

"We’ve got video (of the incident)," the longtime Cajun coach said. "So, we’ll take a look at that, and then we’ll go from there.

"The rule is what it is. When you do make incidental contact, you do get four games for it. I understand the rule … is to stop coaches from accosting umpires. But, you know, I haven’t done that in 29 years. But it is what it is, so we’ll work from there.

"I just don’t know who disciplines him (Hudson) for the game he had," Robichaux added. "I mean, I know I get disciplined. But who disciplines him? He gets to go back to work Monday. I don’t get to go to work for four days. He ought to have to take some time off."

When the 39-6 Cajuns return to play for their final two midweek games of the season, Robichaux has no concerns over how they’ll handle his absence.

He said it helps that veteran catcher Michael Strentz and several pitchers call their most of their own pitches anyway, and he suggested the Cajuns are taught from the get-go to not over-rely on coaching.

"We’re real big about ‘no co-dependency’ from the first day, to where if anything happens our players don’t panic," he said.

Having a veteran team, not one stacked with freshmen, helps in that regard.

"Why should they panic because I’m not there?" Robichaux asked. "I think they’re gonna enough to win without me, personally – because it’s not about me. It’s about them. So, I think we’re OK. My coaches do a good job."

Robichaux pointed out that hitting coach Matt Deggs is a former head coach at Texarkana Junior College, ex-hitting coach at Arkansas and former associate head coach at Texas A&M, and that associate head coach Anthony Babineaux "has been with me long enough to know what we want to do."

He knows he has the support of his players, too.

"Four or five of them walked out of the locker room after I spoke to them before the game," Robichaux said, "and said, ‘Coach, we’ve got your back.’ I mean, that’s the kind of team you want. So, I think we’ll be fine. I really do.

"I really think you’ll see a team get out there and get after it for the next three games. The biggest pressure on me is we’ll win all four – then I’ll come back."

No. 3 UL at SLU

WHAT: Two-game, non-conference midweek set.

WHERE: Alumni Field in Hammond tonight; M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette on Wednesday night.

WHEN: 6 Tuesday; 6 p.m. Wednesday.

RECORDS: UL 39-6; SLU 27-17.

RADIO: KPEL 1420 AM with Jay Walker.

TV: None.


Tuesday: UL senior RHP Matt Hicks (5-0, 1.86 ERA) vs. junior RHP Kyle Keller (3-2, 3.17 ERA)

Wednesday night: TBA vs. TBA

ABOUT THE CAJUNS: After taking 2-of-3 from Texas State in a Sun Belt Conference home series last weekend, UL has won 11-of-11 weekend series this season. … The Ragin’ Cajuns are 10-1 in midweek games this season and 13-1 against in-state opponents. … UL is hitting .321 as a team with 51 home runs. … The Cajuns lead the all-time series 59-46 and have won the last two meetings, breaking a nine-game Southeastern Louisiana winning streak.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: After getting swept in a three-game Southland Conference series by Sam Houston State last weekend, Southeastern Louisiana has lost four straight. … C Jameson Fisher is hitting a team-high .360 on the season with 10 doubles and 26 RBIs; RF Andrew Godbold, hitting .323, has a team-leading six homers and 40 RBIs. … In their series with Sam Houston, the Lions yielded an average of just 3.67 runs per game but scored only 1.67 per game.