Louisiana-Lafayette freshman shortstop Blake Trahan, a Kinder native, is having a big impact for the 41-18 Ragin’ Cajuns. Trahan is batting .335 with four homers, 36 RBIs and 45 runs scored. He was named Freshman of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference. (Special to the American Press)
Former Kinder High standout and current Louisiana-Lafayette shortstop Blake Trahan, left, has been named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:10 AM
He is the freshman of the year for his conference, the starting shortstop on a team playing in the Baton Rouge Regional this weekend and has dreams of leading that club to Omaha, Neb., in a few weeks.
No, we are not talking about LSU’s Alex Bregman, who has set the college baseball world on fire this spring. Bregman has the top-ranked Tigers thinking about another trip back to the College World Series for sure. He likely is the best rookie in the nation.
But there is another true freshman who has the same goal, and will be sharing the same piece of field with Bregman starting Friday.
And he won’t be caught in awe of the situation or the moment.
He is Blake Trahan, starting shortstop of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.
Trahan, from Kinder, is the best college shortstop in the state that you never heard of.
“He’s absolutely unbelievable,” ULL sophomore Dylan Butler told a Lafayette newspaper. “The things he can do at that position are unbelievable. I’m thankful we have him there.”
Despite standing just 5-foot-9 and weighing 175 pounds — those numbers might be a little exaggerated — Trahan has made a big impact on the Cajuns program. His .335 batting average is impressive. It goes along with four homers, 36 RBIs and 45 runs scored.
“What I find amazing is his compusore,” said ULL head coach Tony Robichaux. “Nothing is too big for him, he is able to slow the game down and make every thing look simple.”
Trahan said the award was a team effort.
Those stats, along with solid play at short, made Trahan the first Cajun in history to be named the top freshman since they moved to the Sun Belt in 1992, helping ULL to a 41-18 record and second seed in the regional.
“It was a surprising honor, but it is just as much about the older guys,” Trahan said. “They made me feel right at home from the first day. They took me under their wings and made it comfortable to be in this situation.”
Trahan said he never really thought about playing at LSU. “I took the first offer I got,” he said.
But the College World Series, and beating the Tigers, that would be special.
“You dream of playing in Omaha,” Trahan said. “You watch those games on television growing up, seeing LSU win and you want to be a part of the action there.
“Beating LSU on the way to get there would be just great. It would mean so much to every ULL fan, it would be amazing.”
Playing outside the spotlight is nothing knew to Trahan. Not only has he and the Cajuns been overshadowed by mighty LSU, but even in high school few outside of his hometown knew much about Trahan.
The three-sport star from Kinder High was often overlooked in the Lake Area by the talents of those playing at Barbe and other bigger schools. While he was named the top small school male athlete in Southwest Louisiana by the American Press, it was Barbe shortstop Gavin Cecchini, the 12th pick overall in last year’s draft, who stole most of his thunder.
“Absolutely, he was overshadowed,” said Kinder baseball coach Ken Courville. “Being from a small school people didn’t know how good Blake was, or didn’t want to believe how good he was.
“Blake doesn’t play for recognition, he plays for the love of the game and to win.”
In fact, Trahan loves the role of being the underdog. He said his size helps him sneak up on people and playing in the shadows of other great shortstops, like Bregman and Cecchini, has been a motivating factor in his success.
“I have thought about how glad I am to have somebody an hour from me always better,” Trahan said. “That has pushed me all my life. It has given me a standard to strive for and somebody to measure myself against.
“It is all about competition, either on the field or off the field. You want to compete against the best.
At Kinder Trahan was everything. A four-year starter at shortstop in baseball, he was also the starting quarterback in football from halfway through his freshman year.
Always wanting to be in a leadership role, Trahan was happy to play the tough positions. He reveled in the opportunities.
“From the first day he walked on to our campus until the last day he left, Blake was about being a leader,” Courville said-. “There are not enough positive adjectives to describe the type of kid he was for us.
“One thing I will always remember, you could never tell if Blake just hit a home run or struck out, he was always the same. He was always upbeat. He never let things bother him.”
For Trahan, that has been easy.
“The game is what I really enjoy,” he said. “Just playing the game. I have done it all my life. I really don’t worry about the rest.
“I want to go out and do my best and have fun.”
It has been a pretty good formula for success for both he and the Cajuns.
• High school: Kinder.
• Classification: Freshman.
• Position: Shortstop.
• Height.: 5-9.
• Weight: 175.
• Batting average: .335.
• Home runs: 4.
• RBIs: 36.
• Runs scored: 45.
Posted By: S. Trahan-Moore On: 5/30/2013
Go Blake! We are very proud of your hard work & dedication!!!