It’s been a theme for much of the season for the UL baseball team.
But Sunday’s version was even more dramatically obvious than the rest of them.
The numbers illustrating a 10-8 loss and series sweep at the hands of Texas State at Russo Park were simply outrageous for Ragin' Cajuns coaches, players and fans to stomach.
UL pitchers walked 10 batters and hit three others. Texas State’s pitchers walked none and hit one.
The Bobcats got seven hits in the game and scored 10 runs.
The Cajuns' offense collected six hits in the seventh inning alone, only one shy of Texas State's total for the game. UL got four runs to pull within 9-8, but it would get no closer.
“It’s real simple,” UL coach Tony Robichaux said. “We hit .300 for the weekend and we outhit 13-7 (today), but with seven hits, they’ve got 10 runs. Mathematically, you can’t do that, but you can when you walk people and hit people.”
The Cajuns (20-27, 8-13 Sun Belt) lost their seventh straight and were swept in back-to-back Sun Belt series for the first time since 2009.
Freshman starter Logan Savoy walked three before being lifted after only one out in the first inning. Freshman reliever Blake Schultz did provide three innings, but he walked two, hit two and gave up four hits and three runs.
One thing you’ve got to give the UL Ragin’ Cajuns this season, there’s not much quit in them.
Caleb Armstrong continued to struggle, meaning the only effective arm for the Cajuns on Sunday was Jacob Schultz, who allowed one run on two hits, one walk and struck out three.
As demoralizing as those performances had to be for a team trying to end a six-game losing streak, the Cajuns somehow mounted a rally.
“The great thing about this team is we have no internal issues,” Robichaux said. “Usually, when you’re marred in something like that, you have internal issues. They play hard, they work hard, they care. We’re just not doing the things you need to do to be a good baseball team. That’s to stop the walks and the hit batters. Those are the things you’ve got to do. Without being able to control that, it starts to avalanche.”
In that four-run seventh, Orynn Veillon and O’Neal Lochridge each had RBI singles, and Todd Lott and Hunter Kasuls added RBI groundouts.
Sure, the Cajuns left the go-ahead runs on base in that inning, but rarely does any team get more than six hits in one inning.
The key was that Texas State walked no one in that frame and maintained a 9-8 lead going to the eighth.
UL coach Tony Robichaux has been trying to do better than a 3-2 week all season long.
And then guess what UL’s staff did in the very next half-inning? You got it.
Jacob Schultz hit lead-off batter John Wuthrich, who came around to score a key insurance run.
“From there, we get the bases loaded (in the eighth) and we’ve got a chance to take the lead, but we don’t take the lead,” Robichaux said. “It’s kind of what we’ve done all year long on both sides of the ball.”
The one bright spot in the middle of this latest loss was senior Daniel Lahare, who was 2 for 4 with three RBIs to get his average up to .217.
Still, it’s been a long, hard fall for the Cajuns since the Thursday evening before Easter, when UL enjoyed an 8-4 lead with two innings to go at Texas-Arlington with a chance to get to over .500 for the first time all season.
They’ve lost seven straight games starting with that late-inning collapse.
“The only thing you can’t do is you can’t quit,” Robichaux said. “At the end of the day, that’s the once ace you have in your pocket. That’s the one thing about these guys, they haven’t quit. You stop walking people and hitting people, we win this game.”
UL baseball’s 2019 season continues to be a series of rebounds for the Ragin’ Cajuns, mostly of the defensive variety.