LAFAYETTE — When UL-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux needs some of his leading actors to step into a supporting role this weekend in a super regional, he believes they will play each part as needed.
That might mean a No. 3 or cleanup hitter needs to advance a base runner with a ground ball or a sacrifice bunt instead of trying to bring a teammate home with one swing.
In fact, Robichaux has the proof.
In addition to his team-leading 16 home runs and 53 RBIs, cleanup hitter Stefan Trosclair has 10 sacrifices. Tyler Girouard has four sacrifices to go with his .335 average.
“We take pride in moving runners,” Girouard said. “It’s not as emotional as hitting a double in the gap to score two runs. That sacrifice is what sets that up. That is what is sad about baseball sometimes. Those guys don’t get recognized for setting that inning up and getting those two runners in scoring position so one person can come hit a double. That’s huge. You have to take pride and enjoy that.”
Convincing players to make productive outs can be a long process sometimes. But not always.
“When our All-American (Blake Trahan) can look in and we ask him to sac bunt and he doesn’t palm you (put his palms up in disappointment), that tells you he is not hung up on results and he will do what he needs to do to help the team win,” Robichaux said. “When we give somebody a squeeze sign — I have had some bad teams where we put the squeeze on and the guy shook his head.”
Trahan has nine sacrifices. The ones that stick in his mind are during the Cajuns’ regional win at Houston last week.
“Baseball is a crazy game,” Trahan said. “You have to win different ways. Houston and Rice pitched and played good defense. We had to do the same and match what they did. Certain games shape up certain ways. We could go play LSU and it could be one of those one-run games or it could be a shootout. That’s just how baseball is.”
Answering the call
The ability to adjust to script changes on the fly has carried over to the pitching staff. For closer Dylan Moore to finish off the Houston regional, he had to come on in the seventh inning instead of the ninth.
That effort by Moore over three innings was noticed by his peers.
“We feed off each other’s success,” Trahan said. “(Moore) came in the game in a situation he’s not very used to. He was still relieving, so it wasn’t that bad. He did his job very well. We fed off the things he did and what the whole pitching staff did.”
Slow and steady wins race?
Robichaux is hoping that versatility from the lineup and the pitching staff will be one ingredient that helps the Cajuns maintain a slow pace this weekend against LSU.
“Our biggest challenge is going to be to slow the game down and play baseball,” Robichaux said. “Not only can their fans speed you up, but their team plays fast, too.”
Moore and pitcher Gunner Leger were selected to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team, Collegiate Baseball announced Wednesday.
Moore and Leger join Reagan Bazar (2014) and Trahan (2013) as current members of the UL-Lafayette squad that have received the honor.
Leger has a 6-4 record with a 2.87 ERA in 17 starts. Moore has a team-high 13 saves.