Apr 10, 2014 10:42 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The top-ranked Louisiana baseball team is set to host UALR in a three-game conference series starting Friday at 6 p.m. at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Saturday's game marks the first 6 p.m. start this spring as the remaining Saturday games this season are slated to start in the evening. First pitch of the series finale is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
All three contests can be heard on News Talk 96.5 KPEL-FM with Jay Walker making the call. Live scoring and video are available on RaginCajuns.com.
The Ragin' Cajuns (31-4, 11-1 Sun Belt) come into the series sitting atop the standings in the Sun Belt after four weeks of conference play. The squad boasts the nation's best record and is off to the best start in program history.
Louisiana puts a streak of nine straight series wins on the line against the Trojans (13-17, 3-9 Sun Belt). The Cajuns have won eight series this season including five sweeps. Three of the sweeps have come in conference play.
Junior Carson Baranik will make his second straight series-opening start in place of Austin Robichaux, who is being held out for precautionary reasons. Baranik is ranked second in the nation with seven wins and has a 2.65 ERA in 57.2 innings.
Ryan Wilson (4-0, 1.63 ERA) is slated to make the start on Saturday, while fellow lefty senior Cody Boutte (4-0, 3.78 ERA) will close out the weekend with the start on Sunday.
Offensively, Louisiana ranks in the top 10 nationally in 13 categories. The Ragin' Cajuns are first in home runs (45), runs (301), slugging percentage (.541), triples (21) and sacrifice flies (28).
Caleb Adams comes into the weekend with a 29-game on base streak as has posted a hit in the last 11 games. Adams leads the Cajuns with a .396 average and ranks third in the nation with six triples.
Jace Conrad also is streaking as he is four games back of the school record with a 19-game hit streak. Conrad has reached base in 25 consecutive games and ranks ninth in the country with 39 RBI.
The Cajuns hold a 48-16 series edge over UALR including a 22-5 record at home. Louisiana has won the last nine meetings at "the Tigue" by a combined score of 108-33, while the Ragin' Cajuns took two of three from the Trojans a year ago in Little Rock, Ark., winning the series finale 15-10. All but three games in the series have come with head coach Tony Robichaux at the helm.
UALR comes into the series having lost a closely contested midweek game at Oklahoma State, 7-6. The Trojans picked up their first series win in conference play last weekend taking two games from Georgia State at home. UALR is 2-11 away from Little Rock with its last road victory coming against Oklahoma, 11-2, on March 19.
The Trojans are hitting .259 as a team led by Ben Crumpton who tenth in the league is batting .339 with three home runs and 15 RBI. Tanner Rockwell is second on the squad hitting .322 with a team-best eight doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI.
Left-hander Travis McDonald will make the start on Friday with a 2-3 record and a 3.93 ERA. UALR will counter with right-handers Sam Thoele and Cameron Allen on Saturday and Sunday. Theole will be making his third start of the season, while Allen is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA.
Following the series with the Trojans, the Cajuns will have the midweek off before heading to UT Arlington for a three-game series on Easter weekend (April 18-20).