Like he’s been with Louisiana-Lafayette his entire career, Evan Powell makes the All-American wait his turn.
It’s media day, before the Cajuns make the hour-long trip to Baton Rouge, and Blake Trahan is getting ready to step in front of the cameras. He’d been waiting, along with Powell and others, for his turn. As he’s called up, Powell jokingly steps in front of him.
“Seniors first!” Powell said. “Plus, you’re 5-foot-6.”
Trahan just laughed and stepped aside, deferential to seniority. Powell smirked and stepped in front of the cameras, which were there to ask the about the truth, that he hasn’t been with the Cajuns his entire career.
Powell spent his freshman season in LSU purple and gold, though he didn’t find much of the field. He played in 11 games, starting two, and went 2-for-14 with three strikeouts and four RBIs.
“I fulfilled a dream of mine to go to LSU and play there,” Powell said. “But …”
There’s always a but.
Powell was given a couple choices after his freshman season: Ride it out at LSU, where he would be buried on the depth chart or try to find an opportunity elsewhere.
Things didn’t work out like Powell had dreamed in the first place, but, “growing up and getting later on down the road, dreams are dreams whenever you’re little, but sometimes they’re not the best decision or the right decision, and you end up moving on to bigger and better places.”
Bigger might not be the best term, especially at first. Powell left one powerhouse for another one, a much smaller junior college one with an extra letter tacked onto the end.
Powell spent one season at LSU-Eunice, hitting .224 with three homers. But it wasn’t necessarily the extra at-bats that helped the most at the weigh station between LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette.
“It was tough leaving all my friends I made and having to make new ones, but I think that helped me out a lot, because I knew I was going to have to leave LSU-E and go somewhere new again,” Powell said.
“It helped out having that one step between, to go to LSU-E, then here and having to make new friends. It made it a lot easier, already having done it once.”
Now at his third school, Powell fits in like he’s been there the entire time because he’s experienced letting a new place and new people grow on him.
This weekend he’s returning to the place where it all started, potentially the final series of his career unless he or his bat have anything to say about it. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Houston regional after going 5-for-11 with three crucial runs batted in.
He’s not going into the series looking to exact revenge, however. He said he harbors no ill will toward LSU.
“That’d be hard for a lot of people,” said fellow senior Dylan Butler, “but the one person who wouldn’t think twice about it is Evan Powell.”
Plus, he’s a Cajun now. There’s no room for such things as Evan Powell vs. LSU in the “pack” system deployed by coach Tony Robichaux.
“You do not bring attention to you; you don’t make this between them and you,” Robichaux said.
“It’s the pack, and Powell’s part of the pack now, and that’s the way it’s going to stay and that’s the way we’re going to keep it all weekend.”