SAN MARCOS, Texas — For Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore right-hander Evan Guillory, Saturday’s outing against Arkansas State can essentially be chalked up as a forgettable bullpen outing.
He only threw 17 pitches and did not record an out as the Red Wolves tagged him for four hits and four runs. He was charged for another run when reliever Will Bacon allowed an inherited runner to score.
But the Cajuns won — and thanks to his short outing, Guillory might not have to wait long for redemption.
“It gives you another arm in the pen,” coach Tony Robichaux said. “We knew that if we had to play another game tomorrow ... we can bring back Evan on short rest because he really got a bullpen (session), technically.”
Robichaux said his training staff will make sure Guillory is ready to throw on back-to-back days, something Guillory has never done in his collegiate career.
“He should be good in the bullpen tomorrow,” Robichaux said. “We’ll let him play catch and check with us, because we never want to hurt an arm. We’ll make sure that he is good.”
This sort of thing has happened before. Wyatt Marks, who will start for the Cajuns on Sunday, was blasted for five runs on four hits in just one-third of an inning in last season’s Sun Belt Conference tournament. He came back two days later to fire seven sterling innings against Texas State, sending the Cajuns to the championship game.
After Saturday’s game, catcher Nick Thurman shouldered some of the blame for Guillory’s outing, saying he might not have been on his game as a pitch-caller.
But he also credited Arkansas State’s hitters for pounding what they saw.
“His stuff wasn’t too, too bad. I think they just came out to swing, and whenever a team comes out like that you have to have your best stuff,” Thurman said. “Even if you’re a little bit off, they’ll hammer everything he’s throwing.
“It wasn’t so much his stuff was bad. He might’ve left a few pitches up that should’ve been down, but they just came out to play. You’ve got to give them some credit.”
If the Cajuns would’ve lost against Arkansas State, they would’ve had to play again after a short break.
Thurman is glad he didn’t have to go that route. The temperature and humidity spiked in San Marcos on Saturday, and the Cajuns’ lone catcher didn’t want to have to log 18 innings in those conditions.
Though Thurman has caught every inning of every game this year, Robichaux said he wouldn’t have put him back out on the field if there was a legitimate concern for his safety on account of the heat.
Robichaux said senior second baseman Stefan Trosclair would’ve served as the Cajuns emergency catcher. “(Trosclair) caught in junior college, so he’s actually a good catcher,” Robichaux said.
If Thurman did have to catch, he might’ve had to borrow some equipment from a teammate.
“I think we’re actually running out of pants,” said Thurman, who arrived to do postgame interviews in athletic shorts. “I went through two pair today. I feel like if we had one more (game) I might’ve had to take another position player’s pants.”
With the win Saturday, the Cajuns clinched a spot in their fourth consecutive SBC tournament championship game. They have a couple more streaks on the line.
The Cajuns have won nine consecutive games heading into the tournament final. Dating to last season, they’ve also won eight consecutive SBC tournament games.
A win Sunday would mark their third consecutive Sun Belt tournament title, which would be a first in conference history.