LAFAYETTE — It was this time a year ago when Louisiana-Lafayette slugger Stefan Trosclair started to break out.
He hit .347 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs after March 31 last season. Could 2016 offer a repeat performance?
Trosclair picked up his first multiple-hit game since March 5 with a 2-for-4 performance against Nicholls State on Tuesday night, and one of those two hits left the ballpark for his third home run of the year.
And really, on another night it might’ve been a 4-for-4 day with a pair of home runs.
Trosclair hit what looked like another homer before a stiff wind blew it back in play, and he laid down a nice bunt that could’ve been ruled a single but was instead ruled an error.
“I get comfortable as the season goes on,” Trosclair said. “I see the ball better the more at-bats I get. I guess it’s just one of those things that it’s this time of the year.
“I’m just going to keep working, keep doing what I do every day, keep going out to the field getting better and see where I wind up in the end.”
This season has been a struggle so far for Trosclair. His batting average has never risen higher than .255 and has mostly hovered around .200.
But there are positive signs. Nine of his 19 hits this season have gone for extra bases. He has also shown a good eye at the plate, drawing a team-high 13 walks.
And then there was Tuesday’s game, which might’ve been his best at the plate this season. Trosclair had a feeling that was coming after getting a day off for Easter Sunday to re-focus.
“I cleared my head, went to see my family, got a day off and came back confident,” Trosclair said. “I got some work in Monday and (Tuesday), and I came out to the field confident and ready to play. We got the win, and it was fun.”
The Cajuns have not been a very good situational team this season, struggling to steal bases and to lay down sacrifice bunts.
But maybe they’re starting to turn a corner in both departments.
They laid down three successful sacrifice bunt attempts Tuesday night against Nicholls State, which tied a season high. They also went 2-for-2 in stolen bases Tuesday, and have successfully stolen a base on seven of their last eight attempts after starting the season 15-for-28.
“We’ve got to work on getting better and work on the things that have hurt us,” coach Tony Robichaux said. “We did a lot better bunting (against Georgia State last weekend). We did a few things that show that we’re getting better.”
Tuesday’s win against Nicholls State featured a three-run ninth inning rally. That was the first time the Cajuns had won a game this season that they entered the ninth inning trailing. ... Entering Wednesday, the Cajuns were in a four-way tie for the Sun Belt Conference lead in fielding percentage at .976. ... Not only does the Cajuns pitching staff lead the SBC in strikeouts (207), it has also issued the fewest walks (54).