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Baseball: MOP Evan Powell ready for magic at Super Regional

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, June 1, 2015



UL Ragin’ Cajuns infielder Evan Powell (22) takes a pitch during the NCAA Baseball Regional Final against the Rice Owls at the University of Houston in Houston Monday. UL defeated Rice 5-2 to reach the NCAA Super Regional round for a second consecutive season.(Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)



Things are about to come full circle for UL senior left fielder Evan Powell when the Ragin’ Cajuns open a best two-of-three NCAA Super Regional at LSU later this week.

A berth in the College World Series berth at Omaha, Nebraska — UL hasn’t been there since 2000 — will be on the line there.

To get back to Omaha, though, the Cajuns first will have to get through Baton Rouge.

For a certain Cajun, that means a trip back.

Powell, named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Houston Regional after helping UL to a 5-2 title-game win over Conference USA regular-season champ Rice on Monday, actually began his career at LSU.

"It’s gonna be special," he said, "and I can’t wait to get over there."

The Sam Houston High product from Lake Charles played 11 games, including a couple of starts for the Tigers in 2012, hitting .143 with a double and four RBI.

Powell spent the 2013 season at LSU-Eunice, helping it to the 2013 NJCAA Division II World Series while hitting .224 over 50 games (48 starts) while playing catcher and third.

He then transferred to UL and spent last season as a utilityman for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament-champion Cajuns, who won the NCAA Lafayette Regional before falling to Ole Miss in the NCAA Super Regional it hosted.

Powell hit .250 in 29 games while making 14 starts – six in right field, eight as designated hitter — and driving in 14 runs with two doubles, a triple and four home runs.

He came into the 2015 Regional hitting just .216 with four doubles and five homers in 41 games (34 starts) for the now 42-21 Cajuns, who made it to the Houston Regional by winning five straight losers-bracket games in the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Troy.

So when Powell went 5-for-11 (.455) with two runs scored and three RBI — including a double and a critical two-out, two-run single in a three-run fifth for UL against Rice on Monday — even he seemed a bit blown away.

"Coach (Tony Robichaux) told me, ‘Congratulations’ (afterward)," Powell said. "I didn’t even know what he was talking about. He said, ‘M.O.P.’ I couldn’t even put it together."


Most Outstanding Player in the Regional.

"But I’ll take it," he said, "and I’m fortunate to get it."

He’ll also take one more visit to Baton Rouge.

Even though he does want the Super Regional series with LSU to be anything about him.

"They pack the house. And we’re looking forward to it," Powell said. "But, mainly, we’re just trying to focus on us, trying to keep ourselves going.

"We did a lot of things up to this point, but Coach tells us all the time: ‘We’ve still got work to do.’ We haven’t really finished everything."

Powell also was named to the All-Regional team in left field, joined by teammates Greg Davis at first base and Blake Trahan at shortstop.