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Baseball: What a great way to extend this season!

Louisiana, The Advertiser, June 5, 2015



Nathan Fuentes, 10, leaps in front of UL baseball fans in the Section A Club as they sing “Sweet Caroline” during the seventh-inning stretch while watching the NCAA Regional game between UL and Rice on the scoreboard screen at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field Monday in Lafayette.(Photo: Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser)


On paper, LSU’s Tigers look like favorites when their Super Regional series against UL Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns opens at 7 tonight. No. 1 ranking and No. 2 seed. Home field advantage. Powerhouse tradition.

Good thing they don’t play the games on paper.

We hold nothing but admiration for LSU, a proud team in a great conference with superb athletes. Wonderful school. Good kids. Robust fans, with lots to shout about.

But the Ragin’ Cajuns headed toward Baton Rouge have some credentials of their own. They, too, have a wonderful school. They’ve been to regionals. They’ve won a conference tournament. They’ve weathered a competitive schedule and learned to recover from adversity.

Twice they’ve dropped three straight in conference, and bounced back to become Sunbelt Conference champs.

At times, they struggled on the road, but swept their last three conference games in Monroe.

They dropped a hard-fought game to LSU, 8-6, at the Wally Pontiff Classic. Yet here they are again, standing at the Tigers’ cage.

They may respect the mighty Tigers. But they are not intimidated. That’s how it is when you scrap your way to your wins and your championships and your place in the NCAA tournament. There’s nothing to lose and every game provides opportunity and a treasure.

We look for a great best-of-three series against LSU, worthy of the national notice it will draw.

That national audience should expect much from the Ragin’ Cajuns. They should expect the team to play hard, down to the final out. They should expect our fans to be heard, from the National Anthem forward. And they should expect our fans to show their championship character — without let up.

Sadly, the park won’t be packed with UL fans. There’s only so much room, and tickets are scarce. But UL in its wisdom will keep M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field open for its fans to watch the broadcast. They can sit in their seats or stretch out on the field. Though their voices won’t be heard 60 miles away — well, maybe not — they can nonetheless send good karma in the direction of Baton Rouge.

Admission is free to the Tigue and the gates open 30 minutes before each game. Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted on the field; so are tents and umbrellas to shade the fans from the heat. Popcorn is free and Sodexo will offer concessions.

What a great way to support your home team: With your feet on the field and your eyes on the players.

What a great way to show your Ragin’ Cajun pride: Wearing the colors with a scream for your team.

What a great way to keep this season alive.

C’mon Tigers.

Open that cage.