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Baseball: Gov. Chris Christie visits The Tigue

and , tbuckley2@theadvertiser.com , June 3, 2016

Proud dad wants to watch his son play with the rest of the Princeton parents

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New Jersey Gov.Chris Christie visits with fans before the game. University of Louisiana takes on Princeton June 3 in the first round of the NCAA Regional Tournament at Tigue Moore Field.(Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

In May, Republican Gov. Chris Christie skipped Democratic President Barack Obama’s commencement address at Rutgers University because of baseball, not politics.

Christie’s son, Andrew, is a catcher on Princeton University’s baseball team, which defeated Yale May 15 to win the Ivy League championship in New Jersey.

On Friday, Christie traveled a bit farther to watch his son play at the NCAA Lafayette Regional Tournament at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. His Princeton Tigers, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, face the No. 1-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns.

READ: Cajuns have Princeton connections

It took a bit of arranging to make the visit happen, according to John Dugas, UL senior associate athletic director and Lafayette Regional tournament director.

“In our first conference call with all the coaches and teams involved, they (Princeton representatives) mentioned, ‘Governor Christie will probably be attending the game; his son is on the team. And expect to hear from the New Jersey State Police," Dugas said.

“At that point I contacted Joey Sturm, our (UL) Chief of Police who is a graduate of the FBI Academy and also worked for Homeland Security.

“So they instantly made the connection, and started planning out every little detail — exactly where he’s gonna park, how he’s gonna come in, where he’s gonna sit, when he uses the restroom what route are they gonna take and where are they gonna go.

“It’s really a combined effort with the New Jersey State Police, the Louisiana State Police, the Lafayette Parish Sherrif’s Office, University Police. Quite an entourage has been coming by to check out the stadium and everything."

Accommodations had been made for Christie to sit in a box along the sidelines, Dugas said. But Christie wanted to sit in the stands with the rest of the Princeton parents.

“When I called Chief Sturm, I could hear the excitement in his voice. Because that’s the kind of stuff they train for and look forward to," Dugas said.

“Plus I like Governor Christie, so I was kind of excited personally to see that he was coming.”

Lagniappe: One other high-profile parent with a son playing in the Lafayette Regional is Phoenix-based ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez, whose son Rio Gomez is a lefty reliever who pitched 1.0 innings Friday night to close Arizona’s 7-3 win over Sam Houston State at The Tigue.

Athletic Network Footnote by Ed Dugas. Click here for Scott Clause’s photo gallery of the Cajuns vs. Princeton NCAA Regionals Photo.