Cajuns open against JSU

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

There is more than one baseball regional in south Louisiana this weekend.

Louisiana-Lafayette is hoping to join LSU in making Omaha as much about boudin balls as baseball in a couple weeks, but first

must navigate its way through its own regional.

Led by former McNeese State coach Tony Robichaux, the top-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns (53-7) open the postseason against Southwestern

Athletic Conference tournament champion Jackson State (31-23).

The Tigers are searching for their first NCAA win in their sixth regional appearance. The aspirations are a bit higher for

the Cajuns, who have their sights set on their first visit to the College World Series since 2000.

Junior Austin Robichaux (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will start for ULL, while 5-foot-7 sophomore southpaw Vincent Anthonia (3-0, 3.41)

takes the hill for the Tigers.

The teams met in the losers’ bracket of last year’s Baton Rouge regional, which resulted in a 15-1 clubbing in favor of ULL.

Robichaux struck out eight for the Cajuns in that meeting.

The greater threat lies on the other side of the bracket, where No. 2 Mississippi State (37-22) and No. 3 San Diego State

(42-19) square off this afternoon.

The Bulldogs are tournament-tested, making it all the way to last year’s national championship series before being swept by

UCLA.

The Aztecs have the intangible of motivation on their side as they try to honor head coach Tony Gwynn. The Hall of Famer is

back in San Diego battling a recurrence of cancer.

But none of the visitors to Lafayette this weekend can boast of an offense quite like that of the Cajuns.

ULL is batting .317 and its 63 home

runs are more than the other three regional foes combined total of 57.

The Cajuns don’t

just hit it over the fence, either — ULL has stolen 102 bases in

138 attempts. Only four other teams in the nation have eclipsed

100 steals.