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January 8, 2007
They were one of the last teams out. Last season Tony Robichaux's Louisiana-Lafayette team was just a game off the pace in the Sun Belt conference and one game short of 40 wins. Fans could not help but wonder what if? What if the Ragin' Cajuns had one more conference game -- they'd have likely been in a Regional. This year, the pieces are there to erase all doubt heading into the selection day.
Although the pitching staff gets the publicity, the Ragin Cajuns' offense has some thunder itself. Leading hitter Devery Van De Keere (.368/9/41) is back as is power-hitting catcher Jonathan Lucroy (.333/12/68). Outfielder Jefferies Tatford (.336/4/38) is another veteran stick. Look for new starters centerfielder Josh Logan and shortstop William Long to have an impact as well.
Three of the top four pitchers from last season's record-setting staff return. Leading the way is Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Hunter Moody (12-2/2.63). Buddy Glass (8-3/2.17) is another all-conference arm as is closer Danny Farquhar (6-1/2.17/4 svs). Look for junior John Zorich to take over the third starter role for Jason Fernandez (9-2/2.86) who went pro. Other pitchers who will be counted on include Gregory Harmon (1-1/5.14), Greg Wilborn (0-1/5.90), and Brent Solich.
The Ragin' Cajuns non-conference schedule is highlighted by games with Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Northwestern State,Houston, McNeese State, Lamar, Tulane, and Arizona State. Inside the Sun Bekt, they host South Alabama, FAU, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, and Arkansas Little-Rock. They visit Middle Tennessee, FIU, Troy, Louisiana-Monroe, and New Orleans.
This team has the pitching and the experience to make a run towards a Sun Belt title. They will be a tough out in a Regional due to their arms. Unlike last year, Louisiana fans will be happy with how this season plays out.
Strengths: Starting pitching; closer; experience
Weaknesses: Pitching depth; bottom of lineup
The Southeastern 64 is made up of teams from the following conferences: ACC, SEC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, Atlantic Sun, Colonial, Big South, Southern, Southland, Ohio Valley, MEAC, and SWAC. The following schools were also included due to their geographic location: South Florida, Louisville, Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte.