May 8, 2014 11:58 PM by UL Sports Information
MOBILE, Ala. - The third-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns baseball team closes out the 2014 road slate this weekend with a three-game conference series against South Alabama at Stanky Field starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. before closing out the weekend at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the series final.
The Cajuns (43-7, 20-4 Sun Belt) are 19-2 on the road this season and have won 13 straight weekend series dating back to the 2013 season. Louisiana took two of three from Arkansas State last weekend. The Cajuns need just one win to clinch at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship, while two wins would give them the outright title.
Louisiana swept both the Sun Belt and LSWA Player of the Week awards this week with Carson Baranick taking the pitching honors and Chase Compton earning Player of the Week status for the first time in his career.
For the third straight weekend the Ragin' Cajuns will go with the rotation of Austin Robichaux, Baranik and Cody Boutte. Robichaux will make the start on Friday with a 6-2 record and a 3.41 ERA. Baranik (9-1, 3.02 ERA) is slated to start on Saturday coming off of a complete-game two-hit performance at Arkansas State. Boutte (6-0, 2.62 ERA) will close out the weekend with the Sunday start.
Jace Conrad and Caleb Adams have battled for the team lead in average with Conrad on top hitting .372 with a team-best 16 doubles and 47 RBI, while Adams is hitting .370 with 13 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs and is slugging .710 with a .500 on base percentage.
The Jaguars lead the all-time series with a 58-38 record with the first meeting between the two teams taking place in 1975. The Cajuns are 34-38 against South Alabama under head coach Tony Robichaux having won three of five meetings a year ago including both games in the conference tournament.
South Alabama (21-26, 10-13 Sun Belt) has lost two straight and three of its last five contests coming into the series after dropping two games to Georgia State last weekend. The Jaguars rank ninth in the conference hitting .249 and have a 4.26 team ERA. South Alabama has just seven home runs as a team this season.
Cole Gleason leads USA offensively hitting .316 with a team-best 10 doubles, three home runs and 27 RBI. Adam Ballew is second on the squad hitting .276 with five doubles, a triple and 12 RBI.
The Jaguars will counter on the mound with left-hander Locke St. John (6-1, 3.16 ERA) on Friday and righties Kevin Hill (3-5, 4.30 ERA) and Hunter Soleymani (0-2, 3.68 ERA) on Saturday and Sunday. St. John ranks seventh in the Sun Belt in wins and fourth in victories.
Following the series with the Jaguars, Louisiana closes out the regular season with a three-game home series against ULM at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field starting on Thursday at 6 p.m.