home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Baseball: UL relievers do the job in Sun Belt tourney win – Baranik Available – Plitt Injured

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 22, 2014

A strong showing from UL’s bullpen Thursday has the No. 2 Ragin’ Cajuns feeling well-armed as they wait to play again in the double-elimination Sun Belt Conference Tournament here.

UL beat Texas State 11-4 in a second-day winner’s-bracket game here, and does not play again until meeting the winner of today’s UL Monroe vs. Texas State game at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Working in relief of struggling starter Carson Baranik, four Cajun relievers – Matt Hicks, Riley Cooper, Martin Anderson and Chris Griffitt – combined for 6.2 scoreless innings with just four hits allowed against the Bobcats.

The four also combined for 10 of UL’s 13 strikeouts, including four from Hicks over his 3.1, one-hit innings.

Hicks struck out two batters to get UL out of a mess in the third, and Anderson struck out the only two batters he faced in the seventh to get UL out of a mini-jam.

"That was a difference-maker," UL coach Tony Robichaux said of Anderson’s short outing.

Griffitt, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury and has been used selectively this season, closed with 2.0 innings of one-hit, shutout work.

"They’re getting hot at the right time," Hicks said of Griffitt, a senior, and Anderson, a junior. "They both came in, threw strikes, got their job done and kept us where we were at.

"Hopefully the momentum from that – a little bit of a confidence from that – will keep carrying on through the Regional, Super Regional and World Series."

UL, which expects to host an NCAA Regional next week and hopes to return to the College World Series for the first time since 2000, will go into the weekend with a multitude of arms available.

"Now," Robichaux said, "we can situation pitch, now we can shorten games up a little bit, and we can recover from a bad start.

"We get everybody back off the day of rest, and that’s huge."


Baranik lasted only a season-low 2.1 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits. The good news for UL is that he threw only 53 pitches, making him available for potential weekend work.

"You can even take a Baranik if you wanted to and come back and start him in the championship game," Robichaux said. "So that day of rest (today) becomes real big for us."


Reliever Matt Plitt’s status for the weekend is uncertain because he took a line drive off an ankle during Wednesday’s tourney-opening win over UL Monroe.

"The only downside: Matt Plitt has a little ankle soreness and stiffness," Robichaux said. "Hopefully we get him back for Sunday. If not, he’d be the one guy that would be out for us."


Starting centerfielder Seth Harrison was pulled after just one inning Thursday because he missed a sign in first at-bat.

Left-fielder Caleb Adams moved to center, Kyle Clement moved from right to left and Dylan Butler entered in right.

To keep his bat in the lineup – he had two key hits and scored a couple of runs Wednesday vs. ULM – usual reserve Clement made a second-straight start in right over Butler.

Recently hot-hitting Greg Davis played DH in place of regular Tyler Girouard, who was hobbling but available, and went 1-for-5 with two RBIs.


Hicks becomes the fourth Cajun pitcher with at least seven wins this season. … UL’s eight stolen bases Thursday makes it 101 on the season. … Attendance was just 459 for UL’s game Wednesday and 494 Thursday. Host South Alabama’s games haven’t been much better. … UL third baseman Ryan Leonards extended his hit streak to 13 games, and first baseman Chase Compton has reached base in 21 consecutive games. … UL is now one win shy of the season record for a Sun Belt team, 52, set by South Florida in 1986.