The Ragin’ Cajuns got progressively more comfortable as they opened the 2016 season with a three-game sweep of Sam Houston State, winning by one run in extra innings Friday, four runs Saturday and 10 runs Sunday. It was a tremendous first step in what many are hoping will be a very good year.
As we’ll do every week, here are the three things that went best for the Cajuns — and three things that didn’t pan out as planned during a solid opening weekend:
1. Sophomore trump
Three-quarters of the Cajuns’ four outstanding sophomore pitchers took the mound this weekend — and, man, did they look good. Gunner Leger, Dylan Moore and Wyatt Marks put up this combined line: 15 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 K. That’s a 0.60 ERA, a 0.33 WHIP and a .083 batting average against. Whew.
2. The Joe Robbins Experience
Robbins might’ve been the best player on the diamond this weekend. He played standout defense at the hot corner, including a couple of beautiful charging, bare-handed plays on bunts, and he also got it done with his bat. He keyed Saturday’s win with a first-inning homer, then drilled a triple to lead off Sunday’s game.
3. Liar, liar
Kyle Clement said last week that he’s a notoriously slow starter and has been since his high school days. He looks like a liar after this weekend. Clement was 8-for-13 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs this weekend, including a 5-for-5 binge at the dish in Sunday’s finale.
1. Slow start
It didn’t hurt them much this weekend, but All-American Stefan Trosclair had a rough go of it at the plate, going 1-for-10 with a pair of strikeouts. Certainly not the weekend he wanted to have out of the No. 3 hole, but also certainly not indicative of the type of season in store for the talented first baseman.
2. Stopped! Thieves!
Take a look at the box scores, and about the only team statistic that pops out as somewhat disappointing is the stolen base department. They attempted three steals this weekend and were caught every time — including Trosclair and Jam Williams, who went 20-for-24 in that department last year.
3. One and done
The Cajuns obviously trust freshman shortstop Hunter Kasuls, as they put him in the lead off spot and plugged him into Blake Trahan’s old position for the season opener. Unfortunately for Kasuls, a sore hand kept him out of the last two games of the series.
THE LIGHTER SIDE
Crazy stat of the weekend
1.000: Batting average with runners in scoring position by Kyle Clement and Brenn Conrad.
Quote of the weekend
“Probably 200 people.” — Freshman pitcher Nick Lee, on the largest crowd he had played in front of before Sunday’s game, when he played in front of 4,400 fans
Press-box food consumed
A burrito, a chicken sandwich, a crab cake sandwich, a quarter-pounder with cheese, barbecue spaghetti and too many cuts of deliciously fatty pork. (Thank you, Cajun Cooking Club.)