LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux liked the way sophomore starting pitcher Wyatt Marks rebounded in a losing effort Saturday against Texas State after he was knocked around a week earlier by Southeastern Louisiana.
Marks looked strong for 6.1 innings. He didn’t allow his first base runner until the fourth inning, and he was efficient against an aggressive Texas State lineup.
With the benefit of hindsight, though, Robichaux said at his Monday news conference that he wished he would have handled Marks’ start a little differently at the end.
Marks had allowed just four hits and one run on 77 pitches through six innings. That’s hardly a high pitch count for Marks, but Robichaux wished he hadn’t sent him out for the seventh inning.
Marks was pulled in favor of Jevin Huval after giving up a single and a walk with one out in the seventh. Huval proceeded to let one of Marks’ base runners score the go-ahead run, saddling Marks with the loss.
“I should’ve went in with Jevin in a clean inning,” Robichaux said. “Wyatt was only at 77 pitches. I thought he could go one more. I should’ve let him feel good about his start, get him out (with the score tied) 1-1, and now he hasn’t left any base runners on base to get a loss. That’s what I should’ve done. That’s my mistake. Should’ve took him out, let him go sit down and feel good about himself, (so) he didn’t get a loss.”
Wait and see
Freshman catcher Ryne Ray has yet to make his Ragin’ Cajuns debut, and that day may be pushed back again.
Ray has been unavailable this season after suffering a knee injury during preseason practice, leaving the Cajuns with one healthy player on the roster whose primary position is catcher.
“I really do wish we had a better situation to catch a second catcher,” Robichaux said. “The trouble is they’re going to re-MRI him this week. He had a little setback. I think we’re going to have to stay put the way we are right now.”
Robichaux said he spoke to Ray and his family, and Ray decided that if he is healthy enough to play, he would opt to do so and lose his redshirt year.
For the second straight weekend, the Cajuns bounced back from a frustrating Saturday loss to win Sunday and take the series. That resilience is exactly what Robichaux wants to see.
“If there’s any quality that I ever want out of my club, it would be that — to be able to come back after losing,” Robichaux said. “Because in this business, you’re not going to win every game.”
Where they stand
The Cajuns climbed in the polls Monday. They jumped six spots to No. 18 in the D1Baseball.com poll, one spot to No. 23 in the Baseball America poll and eight spots to No. 16 in the USA Today coaches poll. Neither Perfect Game nor Collegiate Baseball has the Cajuns ranked.
With 12 regular-season conference games to go, the Cajuns (12-6) are in second place in the Sun Belt standings, four games behind front-runner South Alabama (16-2). Little Rock (13-8), which took two of three against the Cajuns earlier this season, trails the Cajuns by percentage points.