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Inside The Birdcage - The Story I Wish I Was Writing by Jay Walker

May 20, 2020 By Jay Walker, Special to RaginCajuns.com

I’ve enjoyed writing “Inside the Birdcage” for ragincajuns.com, so far.

On this particular day, during this very particular week, I thought I’d share with you the story I was hoping to write.

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, the regular season champions of the Sun Belt Conference, opened up Sun Belt Tournament play yesterday when they met No. 8-seeded UT Arlington at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium. 

The Cajuns, 36-20 in the regular season and 22-8 in league play, rebounded from a 2-8 start to secure the regular season title last weekend with their three-game sweep of ULM. The Cajuns’ pitching staff, which led the Sun Belt in ERA, powered the way to the title. The offense, which started abysmally, came alive once conference play began to complement the dominant pitching and secure the championship.

The Sun Belt begins a new round-robin format, one that was used for a couple of years a decade ago. Game times and dates for pool play in the tournament have already been decided.  #1 Louisiana, #4 South Alabama, #5 Troy and #8 UTA will play in a round robin, with the Cajuns slated for games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Louisiana will be off on Friday.

Ragin' Cajuns’ head coach Matt Deggs has tabbed RHP Connor Cooke as the starter against the Mavericks (14-16 Sun Belt). Carter Robinson will start Wednesday against Troy (18-12) , while first-team all-conference selection Brandon Young will take the hill Thursday against South Alabama (19-11).

Meanwhile, No. 2 overall seed Georgia Southern, who surprised many by winning the rugged East Division, opened play Tuesday at 4:00 against #7 Little Rock (15-15). The Eagles will be off on Wednesday before meeting #6 Texas State(17-13) on Thursday and third-seeded Coastal Carolina (19-11) on Friday. The Eagles’ Rodney Hennon was named the league’s Coach of the Year after leading Georgia Southern to a 20-10 league record.

Here is the entire schedule for the tournament.

TUESDAY
#5 Troy vs. #4 South Alabama, 10:30 am
#7 Little Rock vs. #2 Georgia Southern, 4:00 pm
#8 UTA vs. #1 Louisiana, 7:30 pm

WEDNESDAY
#6 Texas State vs. #3 Coastal Carolina, 10:30 am
#5 Troy vs. #1 Louisiana, 4:00 pm
#8 UTA vs. #4 South Alabama, 7:30 pm

THURSDAY
#7 Little Rock vs. #3 Coastal Carolina, 10:30 am
#6 Texas State vs. #2 Georgia Southern, 4:00 pm
#4 South Alabama vs. #1 Louisiana, 7:30 pm

FRIDAY
#7 Little Rock vs. #6 Texas State, 10:30 am
#3 Coastal Carolina vs #2 Georgia Southern, 4:00 pm
#8 UTA vs. #5 Troy, 7:30 pm

SATURDAY
Pool A (UL, USA, TROY, UTA) #2 vs. Pool B (GS, CCU, TXST, LR) #1, 12:00 pm
Pool B #2 vs. Pool A #, 4:00 pm

SUNDAY
Championship Game 1:00 pm

ALL TIMES CENTRAL AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE, AND WISHFUL THINKING

Jay Walker Signature



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