Cajuns Picked To Repeat As Sun Belt Champs

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Coming off of a season that saw a record for wins and the program's first ever No. 1 ranking and a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns baseball team was picked to repeat at Sun Belt Champs in the 2015 Sun Belt Coaches Preseason Poll, the league office announced on Wednesday.

The Cajuns also placed two players on the Preseason All-Conference list including junior shortstop Blake Trahan who was tabbed the 2015 Preseason Player of the Year. Senior Dylan Butler joined Trahan on the 2015 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team as an outfielder.

"Polls, especially the early ones don't mean a whole lot. The most important poll is the one at the end of the season," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "We appreciate that the coaches in the league recognize our potential, but potential doesn't win you championships. You have to go out and earn it."

Trahan, a 2015 preseason second team All-American selection by both Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, is coming off of a season where he hit .355 with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 49 RBI and scored 58 runs. An All-Sun Belt First Team selection a year ago, Trahan was the 2014 Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player and became the first Cajuns player to be named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

Trahan was phenomenal in the 2014 postseason posting a .512 batting average including 21 hits, two doubles, two triples, a home run and 12 RBI while slugging .732 with a .577 on base percentage. He also received ABCA First Team All-American honors as well as being tabbed a second team All-American by Baseball America and Perfect Game a year ago.

Butler hit .298 with 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs and drove in 31 in 54 games last season. He also scored 40 times while posting a .491 slugging percentage and a .379 on base percentage. In conference play, Butler thrived hitting .316 in with five doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI.

"It's great to see Butler get recognition for the hard work that he has put in over the last three years here and then of course BT and the work he has put in the last two years," Robichaux added. "Both of those guys will tell you that the biggest accomplishment is a championship, and we were able to accomplish that last year. That's obviously the goal for this year as well."

The Ragin' Cajuns collected eight of 11 first place votes and had 114 points to sit atop the 2015 SBC Coaches Poll. Texas State was picked second with 94 points including one first place vote, while Arkansas State was third with 87 points.

UT Arlington (80 points) and Troy (78 points) round out the top 5 teams in the poll. Georgia Southern, who was sixth with 77 points, collected the two remaining first place votes.

"This league has always been tough," Robichaux said. "We need to continue to make it a tough conference. What makes a league good is how tough you are from top to bottom and not being a top-heavy league. You have to show up to play every week in this conference, and I think this group is ready to defend this championship."

Louisiana finished with the most wins in college baseball in 2014 en route to the Sun Belt regular season and tournament crowns as well as a NCAA Regional Championship. The Cajuns finished with a 26-4 record in conference play and had the nation's best road record going 22-2 away from M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

"We know we have a young team and have lost a lot from last year, but this group is ready to go," Robichaux stated. " Winning back-to-back championships in any sport is tough, especially when you go out to do it after losing as many veterans as we did. I like our younger guys. They believe that being young is an excuse and they want to win a championship."

The Cajuns open the 2015 campaign on Feb. 13-15 in San Antonio, Texas against UTSA. Season tickets are still on sale and can be purchased either on RaginCajuns.com or by calling the Cajundome Box Office at (337) 265-2100.

For info and updates on Cajuns baseball follow the team on twitter @CajunsBaseball.

2015 Preseason All-Sun Belt Baseball Team

David Owen (Arkansas State, Junior, SP)

Kevin Hill (South Alabama, Senior, SP)

Lucas Humpal (Texas State, Junior, SP)

Marc Skinner (Troy, Sophomore, RP)

Joey Roach (Georgia State, Junior, C)

Matt Burgess (Arkansas State, Junior, 1B)

Darien McLemore (UT Arlington, Junior, 2B)

Blake Trahan (Louisiana, Junior, SS)

Matt Rose (Georgia State, Junior, 3B)

Aaron Mizell (Georgia Southern, Senior, OF)

Dylan Butler (Louisiana, Senior, OF)

Cole Gleason (South Alabama, Senior, OF)

David Hall (Troy, Senior, DH)

Cory Geisler (Texas State, Junior, UTIL)

2015 Preseason Player of the Year

Blake Trahan (Louisiana, Junior, SS)

2015 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Lucas Humpal (Texas State, Junior, SP)

2015 SBC Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)

1. Louisiana (8) - 114 pts

2. Texas State (1) - 94 pts

3. Arkansas State - 87 pts

4. UT Arlington - 80 pts

5. Troy - 78 pts

6. Georgia Southern (2) - 77 pts

7. South Alabama - 71 pts

8. Georgia State - 35 pts

9. ULM - 34 pts

10. UALR - 31 pts

11. Appalachian State - 25 pts


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