HOUSTON – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team opens its final roadtrip of the regular-season beginning Tuesday when it visits Conference USA member Rice in a two-game series at Reckling Park.
 
First pitch for the Tuesday-Wednesday series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Both games will be streamed live on CUSA.tv (subscription required) and can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN Lafayette (103.3 FM/1420 AM), the Varsity Network and the #GeauxCajuns app.
 
LEADING OFF
• Louisiana opens its final roadtrip of the regular-season beginning Tuesday when it faces Rice in a two-game series at Reckling Park.
• Right-hander David Christie will make the second start of his career and the first since facing the Owls on Feb. 27, 2021.
• Carson Roccaforte has hit safely in his last 10 games to set a career-high, posting a .419 average (18-for-43) with six home runs and 13 RBI.
• Louisiana’s team ERA of 2.17 against UT Arlington last weekend was its lowest in a three-game series this season.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns .273 batting average in the three-game series against UTA was their lowest in a three-game series since hitting .230 against South Alabama on March 25-27.
• Louisiana has produced 90 RBI on the season with two outs with Carson Roccaforte (14), Connor Kimple (12) and Kyle DeBarge (11) leading the team.
 
SCOUTING RICE
Rice enters the week coming off a three-game sweep at Charlotte where the Owls were blanked twice and allowed 36 runs in the series.
 
The Owls will play their first midweek games at home since a 13-1 win over crosstown foe Houston Baptist on April 5 and are 9-20 overall at Reckling Park.
 
Nathan Becker (.329-2-23) is Rice’s top hitter with Guy Garibay, Jr. (.304-6-31) leading the team with 13 doubles. Austin Bulman (.262-9-35) is the team leader in both home runs and RBI with Aaron Smigelski (.254-6-31) tied with Garibay for second in both homers and RBI.
 
The Owls have turned 36 double plays on the season to lead Conference USA while the Rice pitching staff has hit 76 batters to lead CUSA and rank 18th nationally.
 
QUALITY STARTS ON THE MOUND
After getting one quality start in the first 24 games of the season, Louisiana has picked up nine quality starts from its pitching staff since March 13.
 
Wilson picked up Louisiana’s first quality start of the season on March 13 with a complete-game, performance against Houston where he allowed one run and fanned 10.
 
Wilson has a team-high five quality starts on the season to lead Louisiana. Jacob Schultz had recorded four quality starts this season with Brandon Talley recording his first career QS against ULM on April 14.
 
EXTRAS! EXTRAS!
Louisiana’s 11-inning, 6-5 win over UT Arlington on Sunday was its fourth of the season. Trey LaFleur’s RBI single helped the Ragin’ Cajuns improve to 4-0 in extra-inning games this season, with three games coming in Sun Belt Conference play.
 
Since Matt Deggs took over the program beginning in the 2020 season, Louisiana is 7-6 overall in extra-inning games.
 
Date – Opponent, (Inn.) Score
2/22 – vs. Southeastern Louisiana, (10) 6-5
3/25 – vs. South Alabama, (11) 5-4
4/10 – at Arkansas State, (10) 7-4
5/8 – vs. UT Arlington, (11) 6-5
 
ONE-RUN GAMES
Louisiana’s three-game sweep against UT Arlington last weekend marked the first time since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 1992 that all three wins came by a single run.
 
The 4-3, 4-3, 6-5 wins over the Mavs were the first time the Ragin’ Cajuns claimed a three-game series by one run each since defeating Siena in the 2011 season (Feb. 25-27) by scores of 4-3, 5-4, 1-0.
 
The three, one-run victories helped Louisiana improve its record to 6-4 on the season and 14-14 in the Matt Deggs era.
 
SPEED ON THE BASEPATHS
With a solid nucleus of players at the top of the lineup, Louisiana has paced the Sun Belt Conference and is ranked as one of the top programs in stolen bases in 2022.
 
Carson Roccaforte and Max Marusak have stolen a team-high 19 bases on the season with Tyler Robertson swiping 17 bags.
 
As a team, Louisiana is ranked 10th among Division I programs with 103 stolen bases – the most in a season since recording 109 during the 2014 season that ended in the NCAA Super Regional.
 
GOTTA SCORE AT LEAST SIX
With Louisiana on pace to produce its best offensive year in the Matt Deggs era, the Ragin’ Cajuns have sported a perfect record with scoring six or more runs in a game.
 
When the Ragin’ Cajuns hit the half-dozen mark on the scoreboard, they are 20-0 on the season.
 
KEEP IT TO FIVE OR UNDER ON THE VISITOR SIDE
While Louisiana is unbeaten in 20 games when scoring six or more runs, the Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-12 when allowing six or more runs in a game.
 
However, with the Sun Belt’s best team ERA (4.10), Louisiana is 24-5 overall when holding opponents below six runs in a game.
 
ON DECK
Louisiana wraps up its regular-season, road schedule beginning on Friday (May 13) with a crucial three-game Sun Belt Conference series at nationally-ranked Texas State.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns will then return home to “the Tigue” for the final four games of the regular-season beginning on Tuesday (May 17) against in-state foe Nicholls before facing Little Rock (May 19-21).
 
May 13 – at Texas State, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 14 – at Texas State, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 15 – at Texas State, 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 17 – Nicholls, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 19 – Little Rock, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 20 – Little Rock, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
May 21 – Little Rock, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)