Louisiana-Lafayette (42-21) vs. No. 2 LSU (51-10)
Baton Rouge, La. | Alex Box Stadium
Saturday, June 6 - 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
RHP Wyatt Marks (6-1, 3.32) vs. RHP Alex Lange (11-0, 1.76)
HOW THEY GOT HERE
ULL had to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament to earn its spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Cajuns were sent to Houston as a No. 3 seed in the regional with Houston and Rice. ULL trailed Rice by four runs in its first game before storming back with five to take a one-run win. The Cajuns squeaked out another one-run win against Houston to move to the regional championship. ULL sealed its spot in the Supers with a 5-2 victory against Rice.
The Cajuns have won eight straight games dating back to the SBC tournament. They’ve allowed more than two runs in a game twice during that streak.
WHEN THEY LAST PLAYED
LSU and ULL played in the Wally Pontiff Classic this year at Zephyr Field, the highest attended game in that event’s history. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead behind some big hits. LSU had eight extra-base hits in that game and led 8-2 entering the seventh inning.
The Cajuns didn’t go down quietly though. They’d cut the deficit to two with four runs in the seventh and had the game-tying run at the plate in the ninth. XX closed the door though, and LSU escaped with an 8-6 victory.
This is the eighth time these teams have met in an NCAA Tournament game. LSU has won seven of them, including a game in the 2013 Regional that sent the Tigers to the Super. This will be the first time either team has faced each other in a Super Regional.
ULL will start freshman righty Wyatt Marks against the Tigers. He spent most of the season in the bullpen before entering the rotation once the Cajuns’ Saturday starter got hurt. He’s since solidified himself as ULL’s second best starter.
Marks has three pitches — a fastball, slider and changeup. He relies mostly on the first two with a fastball that sits in the low 90s with not much movement. His slider can be really good and is a solid out pitch. But it’s off, he’ll have to go with the fastball and that could spell trouble.
Marks struck out 62 batters in 59 2/3 innings with 16 walks. Opponents batted .248 against him.
ULL’s top two middle relievers are Will Bacon (3.07 ERA) and Greg Milhorn (3.62 ERA). Dylan Moore is the closer with 13 saves this season.
HITTERS TO WATCH
SS Blake Trahan | .324 BA, .418 SLG, .435 OBP, 29 RBI, 51 R, 17 SB
CF Kyle Clement | .343 BA, .623 SLG, .400 OBP, 31 RBI, 40 R, 8 HR
DH Tyler Girouard | .335 BA, .464 SLG, .447 OBP, 30 RBI, 38 R
2B Stefan Trosclair | .343 BA, .648 SLG, .443 OBP, 53 RBI, 54 R, 16 HR, 15 SB
THEY SAID IT
Blake Trahan on the All-Louisiana Super Regional…
“Two Louisiana teams playing for a chance to go to Omaha is awesome. It’s going to be a great game. The energy in this stadium will be unbelievable. We wouldn’t rather have it any other way, and we’ll see who’s the king of Louisiana when this is done.”
ULL coach Tony Robichaux on respect between teams…
“We have no ill will on the field. Sometimes you’ll have a year with salty guys, and if the other team has some salty guys, then you get some gumbo right there. But it’s not because we don’t like each other. We’re coming to play baseball, and it’s all we’re concerned with…Louisiana will be represented at the College World Series, and it can’t get much better than that.”