LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette baseball team is back home for a five-game week at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field, and it is rolling.
The Cajuns (24-12) have won 12 of their past 15 games, nine of which were played away from their home field. Now they’ll get a chance to keep that hot streak alive at home, where they’re 14-2 this season.
They’ll begin a five-game homestand Tuesday night against Nicholls State (16-21), which is on a bit of a hot streak of its own, having won four of its past six.
“We’ve got a five-game week this week,” Cajuns coach Tony Robichaux said. “The weather might catch us like it did last week, who knows. But we get to play these next five at home, which is good for us coming off all these road games.”
Getting the start for the Cajuns is sophomore right-hander Evan Guillory (3-3, 2.98 ERA), who has been lights out lately.
He needed 93 pitches to fire a complete game one-hitter against Northwestern State two weeks ago, then shut down Tulane for seven strong innings last week.
Though Guillory has started all but one of the Cajuns midweek games this season, the Cajuns coaching staff didn’t arrive at a conclusion on Guillory as the starter until around 7 p.m. Monday.
Robichaux said before he met with his coaches Monday that the Cajuns were considering their options with their rotation after sophomore right-hander Wyatt Marks was knocked around in his Saturday start against Southeastern, giving up a season-high six earned runs in 1.2 innings.
By sticking with Guillory in the Tuesday slot, Robichaux is essentially giving Marks a chance to redeem himself this weekend against Texas State to keep his weekend rotation job.
The Cajuns and Colonels have already met once this season, with the Cajuns rallying from a 4-2 deficit with a three-run ninth inning to take a 5-4 win March 29. The second meeting will feature the same starting pitchers.
Guillory turned in his shortest outing of the season in that contest, as Robichaux pulled him after throwing 69 pitches in four innings.
The Colonels will once again start left-hander Mike Hanchar (0-4, 8.49) against the Cajuns, though it’s not clear if they are planning to let him go longer than the one inning he threw in the first meeting.
Hanchar has appeared in two games since his start against the Cajuns, and he’s been roughed up both times. He was pulled after two innings of a start against Southeastern after giving up seven earned runs, and he let four of the five batters he faced in a relief appearance against Lamar reach base in his next outing.
Kasuls not ready
Freshman shortstop Hunter Kasuls, who has been out since he broke his hand against Georgia State on March 24, is back taking grounders in the field, but that’s about all he’s currently able to do.
“He hasn’t been able to swing a bat yet,” Robichaux said. “It’s a day-by-day process. ... His injury on that throwing hand is going to take a little while to recover from.”
Kasuls has appeared in 18 games with 10 starts this season and is hitting .244 with five RBIs.
SBC honors Robbins
Third baseman Joe Robbins was named the Sun Belt Conference Student Athlete of the Week after he went 7-for-13 with two home runs and five RBIs in the Cajuns’ 3-1 week against Tulane and Southeastern.
It was the second time this season Robbins earned the honor. His nine home runs lead the Cajuns and are tied for third most in the SBC.