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Baseball: Which walk-up songs get UL batters swinging?

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 8, 2015


For some it’s the sound. For others, it’s the words. For most, it’s all about whatever it takes to be in the mood for bashing the ball, so that the hits just keep on coming.

So when members of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball team step up to the plate during their final regular-season home series of 2015 starting Friday night at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field, pay special attention to the music.

For many baseball players, the walk-up songs hold much meaning. The Ragin’ Cajuns are no different.

Most are upbeat.

For UL outfielder Kyle Clement and second baseman Stefan Trosclair, however, it’s not so much about getting pumped up as it is being at peace — in a reverse psychology sort of way.

Clement’s weekend walkup song is "Rowdy Reputation" by Frank Foster, a Louisiana-born country music singer-songwriter.


UL second baseman Stefan Trosclair (23) swings at a pitch during the Cajuns’ win Sunday at Tigue Moore Field. UL second baseman Stefan Trosclair (23) swings at a pitch during an NCAA baseball game against Jackson State at ML "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, LA, Sunday, April 12, 2015. (Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)


"Grew up a little rough and rowdy, ain’t no doubt about it," Foster belts out at the start.

"I like the sound of it. I’m from here. I like to hunt and fish," said Clement, a product of Catholic High in New Iberia, who is from Jeanerette. "It just kind of relaxes me before I go in the (batter’s) box."

Trosclair, from Sulpher, walks in with zydeco filling the air at The Tigue. And he hears every bit of it. It makes him want to swing, though not in the traditional dance hall sort of way.

"It makes me just calm," said Trosclair, who has a team-high 12 home runs. "It makes me focus a little bit."

His song: That Butt Thing by world-renowned Cajun and zydeco artist Horace Trahan and The New Ossun Express.

With accordion working in all it’s glory, Trahan belts out in the song’s full version that "I Don’t like golf, and I don’t swimming. I just like chasing them big butt women."

Trosclair’s choice was inspired by two seasons spent playing junior-college baseball at LSU-Eunice.


UL shortstop Blake Trahan (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring off of a double by second baseman Brenn Conrad (13) during the third inning against Troy at Tigue Moore Field on Sunday. UL shortstop Blake Trahan (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring off of a double by second baseman Brenn Conrad (13) during the third inning of an NCAA baseball game against Troy at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, La., Sunday, March 8, 2015. (Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)



"I heard a lot of that music (in Eunice)," Trosclair said. "That’s one of them I heard, and when I heard I was coming here (to UL) I had to have it. I love it."

Besides, Trosclair added, his mother, Telotha, "likes zydeco. I think a lot of people like it."

What each song might truly mean to each player is anyone best’s guess.

Even Hans Nelson, a baseball fan also known as "Fast Eddie" who co-hosts the FM radio morning show "Fast & Jenn" on BIG 102.1, can’t be sure.

But Nelson does know that not all songs match a player’s particular personality, and not all follow through with their intended consequence.

"I’ll laugh," Nelson said, "because some of them are real super-aggressive, and you’re like, ‘Man, if this guy doesn’t hit .750, his music is disappointing.’ It sounds like he’s gonna get up there and kill somebody.

"Then somebody will get in there with a country song, and you (think), ‘Well, that’s kind of weird; I wouldn’t have picked him to be a country fan.’ "

To each his own, then.

No matter what the walk-up song, though, it’s apparent some batters might be lost without it.

Dylan Butler

UL outfielder Dylan Butler (15) has provided power and leadership to the Ragin’ Cajun lineup. UL outfielder Dylan Butler (15) advances to third base from second off of a single by utility player Ryan Leonards (7) during the second inning of an NCAA baseball game against Georgia State at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, LA, Saturday, March 22, 2014.Paul Kieu, The Advertiser (Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)


Ryan Baniewicz has a home on the dial too — on the AM side, at ESPN 1420.

He frequently produces Cajun radio broadcasts, and appreciates the symbiotic relationship between music and baseball players.

"Whatever gets you in the right mental mindset works," Baniewicz said.

"I don’t think the song itself matters, but if the batter went up and all of sudden you played someone else’s walk-up music … I bet they’d notice, and I bet it would bug them."

Players select their music prior to the season.

Some have different songs for weekend games and midweek games. Some change from year to year, some stay the same.

Some songs might be quite familiar to fans young and old, others are obscure or have lyrics that are not fit for print — but their sound can be made ballpark friendly thanks to creative editing.

If two players want the same song, seniority might prevail.

That’s what happened when third-year Cajun Blake Trahan and juco-transfer newcomer Brian Mills both wanted "Paradise" by Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates.

Trahan won.

The All-American shortstop from Kinder High considers it new-school music with an old-school feel, and has a spin on the lyrics that makes it work for him.

"It’s deeper than you would expect," said Trahan, who is expected to be selected quite high in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft.

"What it says is the reason why I hustle … is ‘So you can live in Paradise.’ That’s the chorus.

"I kind of took it as ‘doing it for my family,’ in a way; doing it for my teammates; even doing it for the fans, you know?" Trahan added. "The reason we work so hard, and we play so hard, is so other people can enjoy it."

Trahan said he hears his song every time he walks to the plate. So does outfielder Dylan Butler, who uses "Call on Me" by Eric Prydz.

"I love it," Butler said. "I kind of want to start dancing, but you can’t."

But Butler is more inspired by the title than the actual sound.

"You want to be that person in the box," he said. "Whenever it’s bases loaded, two outs in the ninth inning, or a chance to get a walk-off hit, you want to be that person in the box, you want to be that person out there."

So call on me.

Just don’t call Butler’s song the best. He said the honor goes to designated hitter Tyler Girouard, who is nicknamed "Shugg" and steps out to Baby Bash’s Suga Suga.

"He’s a legend here," Butler said of Girouard, "and his walk-up song would be legendary. So when he leaves, nobody else can have ‘the best’ walk-up song."