After this weekend's sweep of Georgia State, UL Lafayette is ranked No. 1 for the first time in Collegiate Baseball's NCAA Division I poll.
|Photo by Buddy Delahoussaye|
|On Feb. 25, junior Greg Milhorn (pictured here against Alabama and still recovering from a chest injury) led the Cajuns to a 4-1 victory over LSU, then Collegiate Baseball's No. 1 ranked team. The Cajuns have since assumed the No. 1 spot on that poll.|
After this weekend's sweep of Georgia State, UL Lafayette is ranked No. 1 for the first time in Collegiate Baseball's NCAA Division I poll, reports baseballnews.com.
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has not yet released its poll for this week.
Baseballnews.com pointed out that the Cajuns have already beaten LSU in Baton Rouge and took two of three from Alabama in an earlier series:
The Ragin' Cajuns (22-2) have won 12 in a row and feature a pitching staff with a 2.30 ERA, 180 strikeouts and only 64 walks over 24 games. On offense, the team has belted 28 homers, 52 doubles and 11 triples while hitting .303 as a team and averaging 7.5 runs per game. Louisiana-Lafayette has stolen 40 bases while limiting opponents to only 9. The 22-2 start is the best in school history.
The Cajuns jumped five spots to reach No. 1 on the Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll, which is the oldest college baseball poll, having been introduced during the 1959 college baseball season. Read the story here.
The Cajuns hit the home diamond again Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Northwestern State in the first of two midweek games. They face Southern Wednesday at 6 p.m.
[Editor's Note: Below is UL Sports Information's Jeff Schneider's report on the weekend sweep, a story filed before the new rankings were released.]
The fifth-ranked Ragin' Cajuns baseball team used five solo home runs on Sunday to complete the sweep of Georgia State and pick up its 12th straight win with a 5-3 victory in the series finale at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
With the win, Louisiana moves to 22-2 overall and 6-0 in Sun Belt Conference action taking sole possession of first place in the league. The 22-2 mark ties the best 24-game start in school equaling the 2000 squad. The Cajuns also hold the longest active win streak in the nation with the 12 straight wins. The sweep is also the third of the year for the team.
Senior Cody Boutte earned his third victory of the season holding the Panthers (10-14, 1-5 Sun Belt) to three runs on six hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
"Boutte went out there and gave it everything he had, and we played good defense and did what we needed to do to win," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "Everything came down to our approach. When you look back at Monroe, all of the runs we scored didn't come down to the wind, it came to the approach. Early in the game, we had a poor approach. Coach (Matt) Deggs pulled the guys up and got the approach a lot better, and then we got some balls out of here."
Andrew Fessler was handed the loss for GSU to fall to 1-3 on the season. Fessler gave up four runs on five hits in 4.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
The Cajuns had a 9-6 edge in hits on the day with Ryan Leonards, Seth Harrison, Michael Strentz and Jace Conrad each posting two hits with a home run and a RBI.
Ryan Wilson and Strentz hit back-to-back solo home runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to give the Cajuns a 2-0 edge. Wilson powered his homer to straight away center field, while Strentz hit his team-leading fifth home run deep into the pine trees in left center.
In the bottom of the fifth, Louisiana notched back-to-back home runs for the second time on the day. Leonards sent a ball over the fence in left with one out. In the next at bat, Harrison launched his third homer of the series and fifth of season to right to make the score 4-0.
The Panthers cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the sixth on a three-run shot to right center by first baseman Nic Wilson. Wilson leads the Sun Belt with 10 home runs on the year.
Conrad continued the offensive onslaught in the bottom half of the sixth driving a 2-2 pitch well over the fence in right center for his fifth home run of the season.
GSU threatened in the top of the second putting two on with one out, but senior reliever Chris Griffitt came on and got two strikeouts to end the inning.
"I give a lot of credit to Brian Davis our trainer. He's been in the pen for a very long time," Robichaux added. "For him to stay the course and work like he did, I think baseball is paying him back."
Griffitt went on to throw 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and did not allow a hit to earn his first career save.
For the fifth straight series, the Cajuns had more than 10,000 in attendance with 10,691 passing through the gates over the weekend for the third largest three-day total in program history.