It was a wild week in local college baseball with multiple matchups between our state schools, and a few on the road for weekend tournaments. Baseball is in full swing, and we hope you are along for the ride in what is one of the most exciting sports in the country. Honestly, college baseball crushes pro baseball, and the country is starting to respond. So, get in now, and you can pretend you were there first!
For example, last year, the triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs hosted 324,983 fans over 69 games. In contrast, the LSU Tigers had an attendance of 421,171 for only 39 games. Do the math, folks. If LSU had 69 home dates they would’ve had 5.4 billion fans. Math might not be my strong suit. Anyway, let’s get to it.
Louisiana Baseball Top 12
#1 University of New Orleans Privateers (11-2)
Yeah I know. Trippy, right? This team is the talk of the town after their 11-2 start to the season, to go along with the wild 10-9 victory over #27 Tulane, out on the lakefront. The Privateers are a buzzsaw right now that is best avoided. Their offense is putting up video game stats, and the team has scored nine or more runs nine times this season. Kyle Bracey is batting a boffo .500, and Dakota Dean (hey, that’s the head coach’s last name) is right behind him at .417. This team is one more win over a top-25 team from getting major cred in the polls. And, who do they play next Wednesday? #7 LSU in Baton Rouge. Oh boy.
#2 LSU Tigers (10-2)
Sure, they’re in the top 10 in the nation, but they have more to prove to be our number one. LSU has put itself on easy street so far this year. No tournaments against other top-notch talent, only two games on the road (and they lost one of those) so far, and their toughest game was this week’s 6-3 victory over Louisiana Tech. It will be more of the same this weekend as the Tigers take on…Fordham. In contrast, New Orleans has played two top-25 teams (one on the road), and a tough Southern Miss club on the road, as well. But it’s not the kids’ fault. To their credit, they’re a young team that has scrapped for some hard-fought victories.
#3 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-4)
One week you’re sitting on top of the Full Sport Press Louisiana Top 12, a.k.a. “the world,” and then the next week you’re looking at the scoreboard wondering how you lost to Valparaiso. The Bulldogs did win that series, but then lost, 6-3, to LSU in a game that wasn’t even that close. And lookout, here comes #2 Texas A&M! Oh, sorry, that’s Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
#4 Southeastern Lions (7-6)
This is how you schedule a season. You make it tough on your squad to help them grow as a team. Over the weekend, the Lions lost a heartbreaker, 2-1, against #16 East Carolina, then got handled by Maryland, 8-1, but also beat Tennessee, 5-4. They didn’t stop there. The Lions then split a two-game series against that tough, Southern Miss (11-3) team. Much like the team’s overall record, pitcher Kyle Cedotal’s record (1-2) doesn’t reflect how well he is playing. Cedotal sports a 1.93 ERA, and has 29 strikeouts in 23.1 innings worked. He has also pitched into the ninth inning in two of three starts.
#5 Tulane Green Wave (8-5)
The Green Wave is turning out to be the Jekyll and Hyde club. Right when you’re ready to gush over the team’s play, they will come out and baffle you. The Green Wave, following a three-game losing streak, swept through Pepperdine. The Wave outscored Pepperdine 26-1 in the first two games of the series. Then they beat #24 UL-Lafayette, 5-3 in a barnburner. But right when you thought they were on track, the relief pitching gets shelled by New Orleans, and costly errors would lose the game against the Privateers in the ninth. This week the Wave will play Furman University and Nicholls State.
#6 UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (8-5)
The Cajuns are another team that just can’t string victories together. The team’s only signature win is against the Rice Owls (6-6), another team that is floundering along. Besides that, the Cajuns have picked on the Sam Houston State and Sacred Hearts of the world. The Cajuns got an impressive performance out of sophomore pitcher Evan Guillory against Tulane, but got bit by the long ball in a 5-3 loss.
#7 Northwestern State Demons
The Dark Lords win my “Attaboy!” for the week. The Demons scheduled six games in six days – all on the road. First, the team travelled to the Grand Canyon State for a weekend tournament that saw the Demons beat Arizona, St. Mary’s, and Cal State-Bakersfield. However, the Demons would lose a second matchup against Arizona, 4-1. After that, the team’s hard efforts were rewarded by getting to play #2 Texas A&M – where the team almost came all the way back from a five-run deficit, before falling, 7-6, to the Aggies. Now, everyone who knew that Arizona was called the Grand Canyon State raise your hand. Yeah, me neither.
#8 McNeese State Cowboys (6-5)
Sorry, Pokes – had to drop you this week. You just can’t get beat by Bradley (4-6), and hold the three spot. Next up for the Pokes is Houston Baptist (8-5). Two things that only interest me: 1) I lived in Houston for more than a minute, and had NO CLUE that this school existed and 2) if there were cheerleaders in college baseball, I would assume that the Houston Baptist cheerleaders would wear skirts all the way to their ankles, which would make it quite difficult to pull off a Herkie. Which was the real reason I wrote all this – Herkie.
Gotta go quick now, editors are mad at me…
#9 UL-Monroe Warhawks (6-5)
The Warhawks are in the Sunbelt Conference. Community Coffee is the official coffee of the Sunbelt. Makes sense, because when I’m standing in the sweltering heat, all I really crave is a steaming cup of Joe.
#10 Nicholls State Colonels (6-8)
The Colonels opened up conference play by losing a series to Abilene Christian. I once lost an entire year at Eastern Kentucky University. EKU’s mascot? The Colonels. Whoa.
#11 Southern University Jaguars (2-9)
This week, the Jaguars kept one out of four teams under nine runs. Oddly enough, that’s an improvement. Baby steps.
#12 Grambling Tigers (4-6)
Sure, they took the series against Southern, but I’m putting them last because of their website. Last week, I told you about how no one is updating scores. Now, they have stopped posting anything on the site. Well done, guys, well done.
*Additional photos from ragincajuns.com, latechsports.com and geauxcolonels.com