The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball team rode into Round Rock, Texas on Friday, Feb. 25 for its first game ever in the annual Round Rock Classic, a tournament that, since 2020, has invited prestigious Division I baseball programs from around the country to compete for a weekend in late February. The Cajuns opened the weekend with their first matchup against the Stanford Cardinals, who were at the time ranked number four in the nation on D1Baseball.com’s Top 25 poll.
Both teams started hot in the first inning; a Tyler Robertson single opened the scoring, and the Cardinals answered with a homer from junior catcher Kody Huff off a 3-1 count to take the lead, 1–2.
Junior infielder Adam Krampton’s and Huff’s at-bats would prove invaluable to the Cardinals, as their subsequent runs would help extend the lead off a pair of sac plays in the third and fourth innings, respectively. No more Cajuns runs would follow to bring the final score to rest at 1–5.
This game proved to be a slog for Cajuns’ sophomore pitcher Tommy Ray, who would end up throwing 72 pitches and balking twice in just four innings to record the loss. Despite the seemingly lopsided score, the game was in hand for most of the proceeding. The Cajuns’ four runs to tie were simply left on base by an excellent Stanford pitching crew, who generated several clutch strikeouts.
The Cajuns’ next game on Saturday would make them the victims of the Indiana Hoosiers squad looking to take out their anger over having not won a game on the season, and take out their anger they did.
The final score would show a brutal 4–12. The second inning would open with a first-pitch homer from junior catcher Matthew Ellis. The Cajuns would put up a fight in the inning, with junior outfielder Will Veillon’s triple to right scoring a run.
Things would get out of hand in the third, though, with a combination of rough pitching and some of the worst fielding by the Cajuns all season. This culminated in a four-error, seven-run inning, which let the Hoosiers essentially cruise control the rest of the game.
Sophomore pitcher Peyton Harvard was pulled after throwing 51 pitches in just two innings to receive the loss, but despite calling up seven different pitchers throughout the game, the staff never really had an answer for the downward spiral that six unearned runs will put a team in.
The Cajuns’ final game of the tournament on Sunday saw them keep it the closest they had all weekend against the number-two-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The Cajuns opened the scoring in the first inning with a Connor Kimple single for one run. Another fielding error at second base tied the game for the Razorbacks, but the Cajuns’ rising star, sophomore outfielder Carson Roccaforte, would respond with a double to put the team back up, 3–1. Senior infielder Jalen Battles would take the lead for the Razorbacks in the eighth with a three-run home run off a 1-0 count. Despite an attempt at a late rally jump started by junior Tyler Robinson, the game was pretty much over from that point on.
Despite the pitching staff once again having to go through seven guys, the performance was definitely an improvement, with senior Jeff Wilson taking the brunt of the work with 85 pitches in 4.2 innings. Redshirt freshman Dylan Theut records the loss in this one.
Even if these losses seem demoralizing, this invite proved that the perception of Cajuns baseball from the outside is a positive one. If the team wants to retain that reputation, it will have to work to win out against good-to-great teams from here on out, and own the Sun Belt Conference like every fan knows it can.