After a tough weekend in Arlington, Texas head coach Tony Robichaux didn’t sugarcoat things when talking about why they lost all three games against UT Arlington. The number one culprit according to the longtime head coach? The back end pitching.
“The whole story throughout the year was that we struggled to pitch after the seventh inning and we started to quiet that down with a couple of weeks where we pitched good in the back-end of the game like we did against LSU last Tuesday,” Robichaux said on Monday afternoon during his weekly press conference and when you look at the box scores from all three games, you can tell that what he’s saying is true. From the seventh inning onwards, UT Arlington put up a grand total of 16 runs off of 15 hits in their sweep of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
“That’s been our consistency throughout the year especially with (Austin) Bradford being down with the UCL injury (after the Louisiana Tech game),” Robichaux said about the issue of closing out games. He also mentioned that being unable to pitch away from the three-run inning as a big reason why they’ve been up-and-down throughout the season. It has been something that Robichaux has preached about throughout his career as the head coach of the Cajuns and when you look at this season, that theory holds a lot of water. Below is a list of all games where they have allowed more than three runs in an inning along with the result.
|Game Where Cajuns Allow Three or More Runs||Result|
|2/16 vs Texas||Loss|
|2/17 vs Texas||Win|
|2/23 @ Sam Houston State||Loss|
|2/23 @ Sam Houston State||Loss|
|2/24 @ Sam Houston State||Loss|
|3/1 vs Maryland||Loss|
|3/6 vs McNeese||Win|
|3/10 vs Loyola Marymount||Loss|
|3/12 vs UNO||Loss|
|3/16 @ Little Rock||Win|
|3/20 @ Tulane||Loss|
|3/23 @ App State||Loss|
|3/26 vs Tulane||Loss|
|3/30 vs Troy||Loss|
|4/3 @ Southeastern Louisiana||Win|
|4/5 vs Arkansas State||Loss|
|4/6 vs Arkansas State||Win|
|4/9 vs Louisiana Tech||Loss|
|4/10 vs McNeese||Loss|
|4/12 vs South Alabama||Loss|
|4/13 vs South Alabama||Win|
|4/16 vs LSU||Win|
|4/18 @ UT Arlington||Loss|
|4/19 @ UT Arlington||Loss|
|4/20 @ UT Arlington||Loss|
That may be a big reason why Robichaux is making some changes to the pitching rotation headed into a crucial series against Texas State. The Cajuns will now send out Brandon Young as the Friday night starter followed by Jack Burk on Saturday. The Sunday starter will be TBA and will largely predicate on what happens in the other two games when it comes to who has been used more coming out of the bullpen and that now includes Austin Perrin. The lefty has started in all but one ballgame this season but has started to falter, allowing 9 runs off of two hits in his last two starts. However, this has been the plan for a while according to Robichaux when it comes to the starting rotation.
“Both of those guys have pitched well and have been consistent,” The longtime head coach said, “We feel like we need to win on Friday night because if you win that game then you have two chances to win one to win the series and we haven’t been able to do that. We just want to move the two guys that have been throwing the best and then throw Perrin in the ‘pen with us and then we’ll see where Sunday comes and if we can get through Friday and Saturday then we’ll look and see who matches up the best against (Texas State’s) starter on Sunday. We tried to do it earlier but we couldn’t because of the injuries and Jack being sick and everything else. Now they’ve been able to pitch with some consistency and because the week was moved up a day, they get that extra day’s rest in so we can try and get them back on Friday and Saturday.”