In a March 28 press conference following a 6–3 victory against South Alabama, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Matt Deggs remarked, “You gotta have that one guy that’s like the sun: everyone revolves around him…what he’s done is pretty amazing, especially since he’s the only lefty in the lineup.”
He was talking about sophomore outfielder Carson Roccaforte.
Many have said before that baseball is the ultimate team sport in that one player often has very little impact on a given game’s outcome. No better is this exemplified than in the Cajuns’ run so far with Roccaforte, who has seemingly done everything that could be expected of him so far this season offensively.
A quick summary of his statistical accomplishments so far this season: he currently leads the team in batting average, hits, home runs, and RBI’s, and stolen bases. His slash line holds at a remarkable .340 / .391 / .649 overall and .290 / .361 / .613 in conference matchups. He’s the only Cajun player with double-digit RBI in conference games so far. In conference games, he has been intentionally walked twice. Further, an underrated facet of his game is his consistent fielding, as he’s recorded no errors to go along with the second-highest putout total on the team.
Despite all this, his team sits one game above .500, has failed to sweep a conference series, and have themselves been on the wrong side of a conference series sweep against a Troy team that is now 5–4.
For Roccaforte, the key has been consistency in making a play every game. Whether its robbing a home run on defense, driving in runs, or simply fielding cleanly, all he can do is deliver his best performance and hope to lead by example.
Arguably his biggest game so far came in a loss against South Alabama on March 26, with a massive three-run homer in the fourth inning, a sac fly in the sixth, and a solo homer in the ninth all scored the only Cajuns runs the entire day. In a post-game interview with KATC-3, Roccaforte stated that he “was just happy to contribute.”
Putting the team first has always been Roccaforte’s M.O., it seems. In an interview from his senior year at Port Neches Groves High School, he comments, “Chemistry with the team and hard work really pays off, if you have good chemistry, I think this team can go all the way.” Part of that statement rings true today too; once this team decides to commit to a cohesive, uniform style of play on both sides of the ball, the results will start to look a lot sharper.