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Baseball: Has hot streak for Davis earned him starting spot?

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 21, 2014

The hot bat of Greg Davis has Ragin’ Cajuns baseball coach Tony Robichaux in something of a pickle.

On one hand, he’d love to find a way keep Davis in UL’s starting lineup – like he was able to against UL Monroe late last week, when Davis started two games at third as Ryan Leonards rested for one and moved to shortstop for the other, and one in left field, when Caleb Adams rested.

On the other hand, however, he doesn’t necessarily want to disrupt his usual starting lineup heading into Sun Belt Conference Tournament play, which for the top-seeded Cajuns begins at 12:30 Wednesday with a first-round game against No. 8 seed UL Monroe.

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"We’ll see as coaches," UL head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We think he’s done a great job.

"I think he gave us some life over the last two weeks, which is real important, because these guys have been grinding for a long time with so much peripheral at stake, unlike a normal season."

UL, 49-7 overall, is ranked No. 2 in the nation going into the SBC tourney.

"I think he carried us," Robichaux said of Davis, who has three homers this season – all in UL’s last five games. "He gave us some life."

Davis, mostly a reserve who starts at first base against left-handed pitching, also has 14 RBIs in UL’s last five games, all Cajun wins.

But Robichaux just isn’t sure if there will be a spot for him to start this week or not.

"Just because a guy has one good game (it) doesn’t always mean it’s gonna jolt everything," the Cajun coach said. "Do we want him in our lineup? We’d love to have him in our lineup. Does he deserve to be in the lineup? He does.

"But he will also understand if he’s not in the lineup, depending on who we want to go out with at that point in time, depending on what pitcher we’re facing.

"And that’s the greatest thing about this team," Robichaux added, "is that they all accept their role."

Davis has played in only 33 of 56 games this season, starting 22.

Teammates, however, seem to sense the Texan can help – however the Cajuns find a way to get him in. They’re also grateful he was able to spell them at key points late in the season.

"Greg hasn’t played much this year, but we all knew it was just a matter of time," Leonards said. "You watch him hit (batting practice), or you watch him hit some balls in practice – it’s unreal.

"So, he’s finally doing what we thought he was gonna do. That’s big for us. And everybody else is going good too. So, coming into the homestretch, having everybody good and rested, is big for us."


Robichaux has made it known previously that both Matt Plitt and Greg Milhorn are starter possibilities should UL need one beyond his usual rotation of Austin Robichaux, Carson Baranik and Cody Boutte this week.

But earlier this week he threw out another possibility for starting this week, if need be: freshman right-handed reliever Chris Charpentier, who has made just six appearances all season.

Charpentier, from Berwick High, is 1-0 with a 7.56 ERA. But he threw 2.0 no-hit, scoreless innings in UL’s 14-inning, 6-5 win over ULM last Saturday.

"He’s got four pitches, and he’s got pitchability," Tony Robichaux said. "He’s a little young, but he’s got the ability to get out there and pitch."


Jay Walker will have the call of today’s UL game and Thursday’s on KPEL 1420 AM. Any games after Thursday would air on KPEL 96.5 FM.

The Sun Belt Digital Network will stream all tournament games Wednesday through Friday.

All games Saturday and Sunday, including Sunday’s 1 p.m. title, will be televised by the Sun Belt Network and carried online by ESPN3.


A different team has won the Sun Belt tournament each of the past nine years.

Florida Atlantic, which won last year, is now a member of Conference USA. UL has not won the tourney since 1998, and lost 16-8 to FAU in last year’s title game.