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Expectations remain high in Deggs' first year

Picked to finish 2nd in SBC West
Posted at 3:06 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 19:39:11-05

LAFAYETTE — Louisiana baseball begins 2020 ranked inside the top-25. Thursday the Sun Belt picked the Cajuns to finish second in the west division. In Matt Deggs' first season expectations aren't low, they're quite the opposite.

"I think we're capable of winning it all, and I've never said that since I've been here," said senior pitcher Caleb Armstrong.

Winning the College World Series isn't just 'coach speak' this winter, It's clearly something the Cajuns baseball players believe in.

"Why can't we go to the World Series? Why can't we win the World Series," said outfielder Brennan Breaux. "We're not looking to be a top-25 team in the country, top-15. We're looking at being the best team in the country."

Louisiana last made it to Omaha in 2000. They Cajuns last played in the postseason in 2016. Last year this team recorded it's first losing season since 2013. But if you ask the team, this is the year all that changes.

"People ask you before the year, how are you going to be? I usually say ' I don't know.' This year I'm telling them 'I think we're going to be great.' And I truly believe that," said Armstrong.

Louisiana opens the year on Friday February 14th against Southeastern.

Thursday, the Sun Belt coaches also named junior shortstop Hayden Cantrelle a preseason all-conference selection. The Teurlings Catholic product is the team's top returning hitter.

You can see the full preseason poll, and all-conference roster below.

Sun Belt Conference Coaches’ Poll
first-place votes in parentheses

EAST DIVISION
1. South Alabama (6) - 62 pts
2. Coastal Carolina (4) - 61 pts
3. Georgia Southern (2) - 50 pts
4. Troy - 41 pts
5. Appalachian State - 23 pts
6. Georgia State - 15 pts

WEST DIVISION
1. UT Arlington (3) - 58 pts
2. Louisiana (5) - 57 pts
3. Texas State (3) - 55 pts
4. Little Rock (1) - 39 pts
5. ULM - 25 pts
6. Arkansas State - 18 pts

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
Drake Nightengale, South Alabama (Senior, Starting Pitcher, Hattiesburg, Miss.)
Zach McCambley, Coastal Carolina (Junior, Starting Pitcher, Mount Pocono, Pa.)
Levi Thomas, Troy (Senior, Starting Pitcher, Cullman, Ala.)
Andrew Papp, Appalachian State (Senior, Relief Pitcher, Raleigh, N.C.)
Jack Jumper, Arkansas State (Senior, Relief Pitcher, Benton, Ark.)
Kale Emshoff, Little Rock (RS-Senior, Catcher, Robstown, Texas)
Kaleb DeLatorre, South Alabama (Senior, First Base, Fort Scott, Kan.)
Luke Drumheller, Appalachian State (Sophomore, Second Base, Charlotte, N.C.)
Hayden Cantrelle, Louisiana (Junior, Shortstop, Lafayette, La.)
Garrett Scott, Little Rock (RS-Senior, Third Base, Spring, Texas)
Mason McWhorter, Georgia Southern (Senior, Outfielder, Cumming, Ga.)
Ethan Wilson, South Alabama (Sophomore, Outfielder, Andalusia, Ala.)
Rigsby Mosley, Troy (Junior, Outfielder, Maitland, Fla.)
Will Hollis, Texas State (Senior, Designated Hitter, McKinney, Texas)
Andrew Beesley, ULM (Senior, Utility, Natchez, Miss.)

2020 Preseason Player of the Year
Ethan Wilson, South Alabama (Sophomore, Outfielder, Andalusia, Ala.)

2020 Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Drake Nightengale, South Alabama (Senior, Starting Pitcher, Hattiesburg, Miss.)