UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux doesn’t have any problem with school officials or media or even big Ragin’ Cajuns fans reviewing all his team’s postseason scenarios heading into the final weekend of the 2019 regular season.
He’d just rather you keep him, his coaches and his players out of those conversations.
He's not angry. Reviewing such details simply doesn’t make it on Robichaux’s to-do list for this week.
“It’s not part of our process,” Robichaux said Monday after a three-game sweep of Georgia State got his Cajuns to 25-28 overall and 13-14 in Sun Belt play. “(UL director of broadcast operations) Jeff (Schneider), bless his soul, stopped me in the hallway today to try to tell me the scenario, and I said, ‘Talk to the hand.’ So it was over at that point.”
Certainly, Robichaux knows the information Schneider was going to relay to him is important, but he said there's a danger his team knowing it could keep the positive outcome from becoming reality.
“We have to worry about playing baseball for us to be successful,” Robichaux said. “Anytime you start worrying about a result, I just don’t think it’s good. Right now, winning is a byproduct of them staying on the process. That’s what we have to stay on top of is the process.
“Some people are saying, ‘This is how high you can possibly get,’ or 'This is how this can happen or that.' I just think we have to go in there and play good baseball — plow with the old mule and then look up on Saturday and see where we’re at.”
The reliever had to do a little more than originally planned, but combination of Jack Burk and Austin Perrin is beginning to sparkle.
For those who care — and promise not to tell anyone on the team — the big-picture Sun Belt scenario certainly looks far better for the Cajuns than it did two weeks ago.
The home weekend sweep vaulted UL into the eighth spot in the overall standings heading into the final weekend. The top 10 qualify for the tournament.
In terms of mere survival, only one scenario could result in UL’s season ending this weekend in Monroe. The Warhawks would have to sweep the Cajuns — games are 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday — and Arkansas State would have to sweep Little Rock in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
A mighty big historical reversal would need to take place for that worst-case scenario to occur.
Sometimes you have to solve the identity crisis before moving on the true challenge at hand.
ULM finished out the 2012 regular season in Lafayette with an 8-2, 2-1 in 11 innings and 17-0 weekend sweep of the Cajuns to end UL’s season.
Amazingly, the Warhawks haven’t beaten UL since that day on May 19, 2012.
For the Cajuns, that’s a 25-game winning streak over ULM.
So while UL fans can feel much better about at least qualifying for the Sun Belt tournament to be held in Conway, South Carolina, starting next Tuesday, there’s a much better scenario out there as well.
Unthinkable just two weeks ago, UL could actually earn a first-round bye by getting to the No. 6 seed this weekend. For that to transpire, UL would need the following: another sweep of ULM, South Alabama (15-12) winning at least two of three at Troy (14-13) and Appalachian State (12-14) winning at least two of three at Coastal Carolina (13-12).
A week ago, the UL baseball team seemed to be facing an uphill climb to even qualify for the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Conway, S.C.
As hot as UL’s bats are after sweeping Georgia State, though, Robichaux still knows focus is required.
“This (past) weekend won’t save for this (upcoming) weekend,” he said. “We’ve got to have two good days of practice and from there, move up and play Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We’ve got to try to win every inning, every inning, every game.”
But even Robichaux acknowledged this weekend’s focus can’t 100 percent be on ULM. If the Cajuns qualify for the Sun Belt tourney and don’t get to No. 6, their next game will be next Tuesday.
“I hate looking up the road, but I think you’re going to have to take a peek, just to try to do everything you can to line yourself up and put yourself in the best possible situation,” Robichaux said.
In other words, if the Cajuns are in but the No. 6 seed is no longer available, the staff might at least have to consider holding a pitcher or two for Tuesday’s elimination game.
“(Austin Perrin) is a fast recoverer, which is good,” Robichaux said. “(Jacob) Schultz is a fast recoverer. (Grant) Cox is a fast recoverer. Jack (Burk) is not and Brandon (Young) is not.”
METAIRIE — Truthfully, UL senior Handsome Monica doesn’t really enjoy the challenge of following a teammate who just blasted a ball out of the park.