The Rebel baseball team is just two wins away from the trip every college hard-baller wants to take in June — Omaha, Neb. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns are standing in the way.
And that’s a big obstacle. UL-Lafayette (57-8) defeated Mississippi State for the chance to host this weekend’s series, despite spending time in the loser’s bracket. They’ve won the most games in college baseball this year and have been rated No. 1 in various polls.
The Rebels lead the SEC in batting with a .304 average, are fourth in home runs with 39 and third in scoring with 367 runs. The Ragin’ Cajuns come into the Super Regional hitting 319, with 515 total runs and 467 RBI
UL-Lafayette’s Caleb Adams boasts a .387 average, including 11 home runs. Adams’ teammate Jace Conrad leads the team with 65 RBIs. they take advantage of the smallish M.L Tigue Moore Field,which only holds 3,750 fans.
From a strategic standpoint, the question is whether the cozy confines in Lafayette will also help the hard-hitting Rebels who have demonstrated plenty of power in the bats of Sikes Orvis, Auston Bousfield, Will Allen and Austin Anderson.
Oh, and don’t sleep on Colby Bortles, who has been on fire since being inserted into the liineup by Coach Mike Bianco. Bortles was the hero in the Rebels 3-2 Regional-clinching victory over Washington last weekend.
The probable pitching matchup for Saturday night’s contest will showcase Rebel RHP Chris Ellis. UL-Lafayette has not announced their starter yet. Rebel fans agree that the preference would be to win the first two games with Ole Miss’ two dominant starting pitchers rather than take your chances on a rubber game Monday Night.
If the Rebels do have to go to their bullpen, they’re well fortified there with right-handers Aaron Greenwood, Scott Weathersby and Josh Laxer.
First pitch Saturday is slated for 7 p.m. Fans unable to make the trip to Lafayette, can watch the game on ESPN2 or listen on the Ole Miss Baseball Radio Network.
Here are some photos from last weekend’s Regional round to get you pumped up for the Cajun Clash in Lafayette: