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Mr. Derek Howell

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Baseball: Howell healing quickly following broken nose

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, April 20, 2012

He underwent surgery Wednesday night to repair a broken nose, but Ragin' Cajuns baseball coach Tony Robichaux is hopeful relief pitcher Derek Howell can return as soon as this weekend's Sun Belt Conference series at South Alabama.

"He might have some raccoon eyes, but he'll look tough when he gets up there," Robichaux said. "It might help him " you never know."

Howell was injured during pregame batting practice prior to UL's 10-8 win over Northwestern State on Wednesday night " a game in which he had been scheduled to pitch in relief.

"He was shagging behind the screen," Robichaux said, "and he kind of stepped out "» and one came."

The hit ball apparently struck Howell on the brim of his cap first, then his nose.

"I hope he's okay," Robichaux said. "That's a painful thing. I watched my son break his nose in his first T-ball game at 6 years old, so I know how it is.

"I don't know how it will affect him. We'll just have to see. Hopefully, maybe, it will wear off and he can help us maybe Sunday if we need."

Howell is one of just four Cajun pitchers to appear in more than 10 games this season, making two starts and nine relief appearances. A junior righty from Krum, Texas, the transfer from Seminole State College has a 1-1 record with a 4.55 ERA, one save and 17 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched.

Frith debuts
Junior lefty Ben Frith made his Cajun debut in the top of Wednesday's seventh inning, but the transfer from Marshall couldn't retire any of the four batters he faced.

"First time out, nervous," Robichaux said.

The Westminster Christian Academy product from Lafayette redshirted last season.

More medical matters

Usual starting catcher Chris Sinclair (back) could return this weekend. "» Wednesday's game was outfielder Dominick Francia's first since he underwent an emergency appendectomy March 14. He went 1-for-2 with a walk. "» Outfielder Daniel Nichols (wrist), third baseman Tyler Girouard (ankle, quad) and rightfielder Dylan Butler (hand) all played Wednesday.

Lagniappe
Freshman second baseman Jace Conrad is error-free in 31 straight games (135 chances). "» Conrad had his first career homer against Northwestern State, making him one of just five Cajuns " along with Butler (six), Nichols (one), Sinclair (one) and Chase Compton (one) with a homer in 2012. "» Butler has a team-high 33 RBI and needs seven more to become UL's first freshman with 40 since Les Smith in 2009.

Baseball:  2011, 2012, 2013


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