MONROE — The Cajuns continued their utter domination of their neighbors to the north, sweeping UL-Monroe for the fifth consecutive series.
They did a little bit of it all over the weekend. They played two error-free games, benefitted from more of the solid performances that have come to be expected from their freshman starters and finally found some clutch hitting. It was a good weekend for the Cajuns.
Not all good. The weather had a say in that, but mostly good.
1. TWO-OUT HITTING: Entering the weekend, the Cajuns couldn’t buy a clutch hit. They lost five of their previous seven games, many of them close games, and they stranded way too many runners in the process. It looks like they got it out of their system in Monroe. The Cajuns went 15-for-39 (.385 average) with two outs in the series, and 11 of their 21 runs in the series crossed the plate with two outs, including all five in their 5-4 win in Game 2.
2. GUNNER LEGER’S COMMAND: The Cajuns’ burgeoning ace was once again at the top of his game, striking out a career-high nine batters while walking none over 7.2 innings of work, his fourth consecutive start lasting at least seven innings without a walk. Leger has now pitched 35 consecutive innings without allowing a walk, the last one coming against the first batter he faced in the Texas State game. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he is an advanced student of pitching.
3. RAIN DELAYS, THE GOOD: Let’s be honest: Sitting around for three hours waiting for the weather to get better is rotten. But the Cajuns and Warhawks at least made the best of it, with an entertaining hour of shenanigans to kill the time as they waited. There were twerking catchers, overly intense games of rock-paper-scissors and shirtless ballplayers on both sides. Way to make the most out of a crummy situation, guys.
1. RAIN DELAYS, THE BAD: Both teams needed to get all three games in to secure positioning — or a spot — in the conference tournament. With an uncertain forecast Saturday that didn’t make a doubleheader look appetizing, there was a 3-hour, 11-minute delay Friday night before the powers that be decided to opt for a Saturday doubleheader, then there were two separate delays Saturday lasting 1:16 and 1:42. All tallied up, more than six hours spent watching the rain fall.
2. TO ERR IS HUMAN: Shortstop Blake Trahan entered the weekend having committed one error in his prior 38 games, and none in his last 22. That streak ended with a pair of errors in the opening game of the series. He also had a tough series at the plate, going 1-for-11. The good side of this is that the Cajuns swept a rival despite a down weekend from its best player, and Trahan isn’t likely to have these types of weekends very often.
3. BULLPEN MINI MELTDOWN: Wyatt Marks had a no-hitter going through four innings, but he couldn’t go back out for the fifth inning after two extended delays. Spotted a two-run lead, the bullpen promptly coughed it up in Game 3. Logan Stoelke balked one of his two runs in, and Greg Milhorn was not able to finish his inning. The bullpen has been solid for the Cajuns all season, and was good for the most part this weekend. Consider this a blip on the radar.