GAME 4 PREVIEW
LOUISIANA (2-1) vs. SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (2-1)
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Location: Lafayette, La.
Site: M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park (6,015)
Time: 6 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Lafayette (103.3 FM / 1420 AM)
Live Stats: www.CajunStats.com [cajunstats.com]
Series Record: Louisiana leads, 80-74
Louisiana – LHP Brandon Talley (0-1, 11.57 ERA, 2.1 IP, 3 K)
SLU – RHP Lance Lauve (First career appearance)
LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team wraps up a season-opening, four-game homestand on Tuesday when it faces in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana in a midweek contest at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN Lafayette (103.3 FM/1420 AM). Live statistics will be available at CajunStats.com.
Louisiana (2-1) officially opened the third year of the Matt Deggs last weekend taking a series from nationally-ranked UC Irvine. After dropping the opening game on Friday, Louisiana rallied for a 7-4 win on Saturday before using a three-run eighth inning to secure a come-from-behind 5-3 victory in Sunday’s finale.
Connor Kimple (.500-3-6), Tyler Robertson (.375-0-1) and Max Marusak (.333-0-0) finished as the top hitters for Louisiana against UC Irvine with Jonathan Brandon (.250-1-3) and Carson Roccaforte (.222-1-4) each hitting their first home runs of the season in Friday’s opener.
Louisiana will send senior left-hander Brandon Talley (0-1, 11.57 ERA) to the mound for his second career start and first since pitching 3.0 innings against Northwestern State on Feb. 26, 2020. SLU (2-1) will counter with freshman right-hander Lance Lauve, who will make his collegiate debut.
The Lions, the Southland Conference preseason favorite, opened the season at home last weekend taking two-of-three-games from Ohio Valley Conference member Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. SLU earned a 1-0 victory in Friday’s opener before earning a walk-off 4-3 win on Saturday before dropping the finale, 10-3, on Sunday.
Preston Faulkner (.364-0-1) and Bryce Gizzaffi (.333-0-1) led SLU at the plate while Evan Keller (.273-0-2) and Shea Thomas (.250-0-0) each stole a pair of bases.
Louisiana wraps up a season-opening, four-game home stand on Tuesday when it entertains in-state opponent Southeastern Louisiana at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Louisiana and SLU will meet on the diamond for the 155th time with the Ragin’ Cajuns holding an 80-74 advantage in the series.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are 44-32 overall against the Lions in all-time games played in Lafayette and are 24-10 in games played at Russo Park.
The teams will meet in Hammond at SLU’s Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field on March 29.
The teams did not face each other in the 2021 season - due to COVID-19 - breaking a string of annual meetings dating back to 2003.
Louisiana opened the season at home taking two-of-three games from nationally-ranked UC Irvine, claiming a 7-4 win on Saturday before posting a 5-3 victory in Sunday’s finale.
Connor Kimple homered in all three games during the weekend to become the first Ragin’ Cajun player since Hunter Kasuls in 2019 to homer in three straight contests.
In Louisiana’s series against UC Irvine, the Ragin’ Cajuns five recorded extra base hits were home runs.
Jacob Schultz’s win on Saturday was the third of his career and his first since May 4, 2019 at Coastal Carolina.
SCOUTING THE LIONS
Coming off a 32-24 season, Southeastern Louisiana was picked to finish first in the 2022 Southland Conference Preseason Poll under ninth-year coach Matt Riser.
SLU enters the 2022 season with a Southland-leading eight players on the preseason All-Conference squads. First baseman Preston Faulkner (.269-8-48), shortstop Evan Keller (.314-3-27), catcher Bryce Grizzaffi (.295-3-12), outfielder Tyler Finke (.318-4-29) and right-handed pitcher Brennan Stuprich (6-3, 2.31) all earned first-team honors.
The Lions opened the 2022 season at home taking two-of-three from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. SLU won Friday’s opener 1-0 before posting a walk-off 4-3 win on Saturday.
Faulkner went 4-for-11 (.364) to lead SLU at the plate with Grizzaffi going 3-for-9 (.333). Will Kinzeler and Andrew Landry each earned victories on the mound for the Lions with Trey Harrington earning the save in Friday’s opener.
Louisiana hits the road for the first time this season, heading west to Round Rock, Texas to compete in the Korbach Round Rock Classic at Dell Diamond.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will open the four-team tournament against No. 5-ranked Stanford on Friday at 1 p.m., before facing Big 10 foe Indiana at noon on Saturday and wrapping up the tournament against No. 2 Arkansas on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will then play a pair of games against Northwestern State beginning on March 1 in Natchitoches before facing off the following night in Lafayette.
Feb. 25 – vs. Stanford, 1 p.m.
Feb. 26 – vs. Indiana, 12 p.m.
Feb. 27 – vs. Arkansas, 6 p.m.
March 1 – at Northwestern State, 6 p.m.
March 2 – Northwestern State, 6 p.m.
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