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Baseball: Greg Milhorn deliver in clutch for Cajuns

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 21, 2015



UL pitcher Greg Milhorn delivered a clutch long relief appearance to help the Ragin’ Cajuns claim a 12-8 win over Troy in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Thursday.(Photo: Courtesy of Sun Belt Conference)


Before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament opened here Wednesday, UL pitcher Greg Milhorn wasn’t certain what his role would be.

Short relief? Long relief? Maybe start?

Even Ragin’ Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux wasn’t sure.

All that changed, though, after UL dropped its tourney opener 8-7 to Texas State on Wednesday night.

The loss pushed the third-seeded Cajuns into a loser’s-bracket game Thursday against No. 2 seed Troy with true freshman Wyatt Marks on the mound.

Waiting in the wings was Milhorn, a senior who was a weekend starter before missing about a month with a groin injury.

"His last couple outings were all good," Robichaux said. "His (velocity) was up; his run, his sink, was good; his command was good.

"We were trying to hold him out to maybe start for us. We thought he was that good after his last couple outings.

"But because we were down one (loss), I went down there and told him, ‘You’re gonna be in long relief … if anything happens,’ " Robichaux added. "And, you know, wham. They came out and threw some haymakers at us in the first inning, man."

Troy jumped on Marks, and led 5-1 when Milhorn replaced him with just one out in the first inning.

"I didn’t really know when I was gonna throw," Milhorn said. "I was just gonna be prepared for whatever. And Coach told me before the game to be ready.

"So, when he sent me down there I threw probably five or six (bullpen warmup pitches) off the mound. I knew I was gonna get eight out there on the field, so I felt fine."

He looked good, too.

Milhorn got UL out of the first with no additional damage, the Cajuns took the lead with a six-run second and Robichaux’s club went on to win 12-8 and stay alive.

The righty from Texarkana, Arkansas, allowed just one hit in 4.2 quick-notice innings and struck out a career high-tying six.

"Without Milhorn coming in changing the momentum of the game,’ Robichaux said, "that game could have been over."

Instead, Milhorn (3-1) left with the win.

It came one year after he was yanked 1.1 innings into the start of UL’s eventual 6-5 Sun Belt tourney title-game win over Texas-Arlington.

"I give Milhorn a lot of credit," Robichaux said. "You know, last year he fought another injury (an oblique strain). Had to get pulled in the conference tournament late last year, and had a bad outing – and now he ends his career here with a great outing.

"To go down again this year with a groin injury, and fight back through it, and then come (Thursday) and be the deciding point for us – I think that’s huge for Greg.

"We’ve been slowly pitching him here, and slowly pitching him here, trying to get him back up and running," Robichaux added, "then (Thursday) he just went out and pitched like a true senior should."


Against Texas State on Wednesday night, junior outfielder Kyle Clement – who went into the SBC tourney as UL’s top hitter by average – dropped a ball in left that cost UL two runs during a decisive four-run ninth inning for the Bobcats.

And it was his birthday.

"We told him after the game, ‘Don’t worry about it. Don’t let this game define you. How you respond as a man – that ought to be how you define yourself,’ " Robichaux said.

"We told him, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re not gonna sell you out.’ We told the team not to talk about it – to move on, ‘he’ll have a big day tomorrow.’ And he came back and had a big day."

The junior from Catholic High of New Iberia went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

"It’s part of the game. It happened," Robichaux said. "And I’m just glad he was able to come back and respond."


UL third baseman Brenn Conrad exited early after running down the first-base line to reach on an error, but Robichaux said he only experienced cramps and could be good to go Friday night.

"I think he’ll be OK," Robichaux said.

Conrad went 2-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored before leaving.


Robichaux said Marks could throw again Friday if needed, and he could possibly start again should UL remain alive over the weekend. He threw 25 pitches before getting pulled Thursday.