The Cajuns entered the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a sense of un-finished business having lost the title game last season to Florida Atlantic 16-8 and then falling in the Baton Rouge Regional final to LSU 5-1. UL Lafayette looked to finish, as they had failed to do in 2013, with the Conference Tournament crown to go along with their regular season title.
The Cajuns beat Texas State twice, 11-4 in the winner's bracket game and then knocked the Bobcats from the tournament with a 4-3 decision in the semi-final. UL Lafayette opened up with a 7-3 win over Louisiana Monroe to open their tournament play. The Cajuns finished the regular season 26-4 and then added four tournament wins for a 30-4 overall Sun Belt record and a 53-7 overall mark.
UL Lafayette was selected as a Regional Host on Sunday night and will host an NCAA Regional in Lafayette in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and then will host a Super Regional against the winner of the Oxford Regional.
UT Arlington takes the tournament runner up going 3-1, losing only once in the tournament and running their winning streak to nine games before falling to the Cajuns on Sunday. UT Arlington didn't face any team twice, opening with an 8-4 win over South Alabama before defeating Troy 7-3 to advance to the semi-finals where it defeated Arkansas State 8-7. The Mavericks had to win the tournament to make the NCAA Regionals even though they finished second in the regular season an RPI of 94 will be too low for post-season consideration.
Arkansas State had the best chance to still reach an at large bid but a third place regular season finish ended that hope even with a 66 RPI. The Red Wolves lost their second game of the tournament in the semi-finals to UT Arlington, losing two leads in the process and coming back from a deficit in a see-saw battle that ended after the Mavericks plated two late runs.
Arkansas State went 2-2 but started in the loser's bracket after a Garrett Pitts solo homer gave Troy a 4-3 win in 13 innings that depleted both teams pitching staffs. A-State then got a comeback win over South Alabama 4-3 after holding off a late rally and then beat Troy in the rematch behind Chandler Hawkins seven scoreless innings in a rare mercy-rule battle against the Trojans saving Red Wolves pitching for the semi-final.
Texas State went 2-2 in the tournament with both losses coming to the tournament champion Louisiana Lafayette by an 11-4 and a 4-3 score. Texas State ruined Justin Hageman's eight scoreless inning performance in the tournament opener by plating three in the ninth and then another in the 10th to beat Western Kentucky 4-3. The Bobcats held off Louisiana Monroe in a 4-2 decision to get to the semifinals.
Troy went 1-2 in the tournament after opening with a 4-3, 13 inning win over A-State they Trojans were outscored 19-3 over the final two games of the tournament before being eliminated.
Louisiana Monroe went 1-2 in the tournament beating WKU 8-6 in the loser's bracket to send the Hilltoppers out of the Sun Belt on a losing note. UL Monroe was defeated by Louisiana Lafayette 7-3 in their tourney opener and would be eliminated in a 4-2 loss to Texas State.
Host school South Alabama went 0-2 in the tournament after clinching a berth with a win in the conferences' last regular season game. The Jaguars dropped an 8-4 game to UT Arlington before being eliminated in the loser's bracket in a 4-3 loss to A-State.
Western Kentucky went 0-2 in their final Sun Belt Conference Tournament dropping a heart-breaker in the opening round to Texas State 4-3 in extras before getting out-hit by ULM in an elimination game.
UL Lafayette's Blake Trahan got the Tournament Most Outstanding Player award while three of his team-mates made the All-Tournament Team. The Mavericks lead with four on the team followed by Arkansas State and Texas State with two each with Troy and ULM each landing a player.
Sun Belt Conference Baseball All-Tournament Team
Ross Moore, UL Monroe
David Hall, Troy
Austin O'Neal, Texas State
Austin Williams, Texas State
Zach Maggio, Arkansas State
Chandler Hawkins, Arkansas State
Travis Sibley, UT Arlington
Zach Thompson, UT Arlington
Darien McLemore, UT Arlington
Matt Shortall, UT Arlington
Jace Conrad, UL Lafayette
Matt Plitt, UL Lafayette
Caleb Adams, UL Lafayette
Sun Belt Conference Baseball Most Outstanding Player
Blake Trahan, UL Lafayette