LAFAYETTE — It may have looked like his young team turned a corner after throttling Alabama 14-2 to clinch a series win on the road against a ranked opponent, but coach Tony Robichaux says pump the brakes.
Don’t get him wrong; he’s happy his team gained the confidence that comes with a big series win. But it is just one series, and Robichaux was urging others to have perspective.
“Our opponent in the middle of the week and our opponent this weekend are not going to come in and lay down because we got one or two wins off Alabama. …We hope we can take the confidence out of this and that’s all,” Robichaux said. “You don’t want to take anything else out of it.
“Nobody’s good because they had one good weekend. You’ve got to have a lot of good weekends to be good.”
The Cajuns (6-5) will put that newfound confidence to the test Wednesday against Northwestern State (6-6), whom they already beat 7-3 earlier this season in Natchitoches.
“I think everybody’s more excited to play Northwestern State now so we can start to roll,” senior first baseman Greg Davis said. “We can start to streak right here.”
Going to the mound for the Cajuns is left-hander Connor Toups, a sophomore out of St. Thomas More High School who is making his first appearance of the season. The Demons, who defeated ULM 7-0 Tuesday night, had not announced a starter.
Robichaux has been aiming to get Toups on the mound for the last couple weeks, but has been unable to. Toups made seven appearances a year ago.
“We’ve been developing other guys, we’re trying to get younger guys in for the first time, a lot of matchups,” Robichaux said. “Connor’s similar to (freshman left-hander) Gunner Leger.
“He’s got a good two-seam fastball, a good changeup, he’s good in plus and minus off his fastball. I hope he’ll go out there, get us off to a good start.”
Robichaux said Tuesday that Leger would be moved into the weekend rotation after throwing eight nearly spotless innings against Alabama. Leger started the last time out against Northwestern State and limited the Demons to two runs in five innings of work.
“(Northwestern State) struggled a little bit against lefties,” Robichaux said, hoping that trend continues against Toups.
The Demons have struggled offensively in the early portion of the season. Second baseman Chase Daughdrill is the Demons’ only hitter batting better than .300 this season (.310), and five regulars entered Tuesday’s game against ULM batting worse than .200 on the year.
Daughdrill ripped a home run and a double against the Cajuns when the teams met in Natchitoches.
Now that the Cajuns have come off their first big series win of the season, shortstop Blake Trahan thinks the young team will be able to turn that into confidence that helps it the rest of the way.
“Winning those two games, the young guys, they saw,” Trahan said. “Instead of having faith and believing in it, they actually got to see that we can play with these teams. Hopefully going into Northwestern, we don’t underestimate them and we come out and play hard.”
The confidence is what Robichaux was looking for, now the trick is to foster it and let it grow.
“I thought we’d have to play ourselves into a good team, and hopefully we’re slowly starting to come on,” Robichaux said. “Now what we’ve got to do is keep coming as this week goes.”