April 15, 2007

On pace for nearly four hours

As Murphy's Law goes, when the conditions are miserable, the game has to drag along. We've had delays for player and umpire injuries on pitched balls. We had a changing of umpires after the home plate umpire left for x-rays. We had 8-10 chasing cap delays. We've had step-outs during dust-flurries. We haven't had any insect delays yet but with the way this game has gone, it could come at any time.

Josh Dew hit a long home run for Troy that -- counting the roll - went close to 500 feet.

We're at 9-4 Troy in the eighth.

Josh Dew scouting report

Troy closer Josh Dew has been underused this season basically due to Troy's lack of closer opportunities. For that reason, the Trojans turned to Dew in the fourth inning today. The 6'5" righthander throws fairly hard - high 80s to low 90s - but he has a slider he throws most of the time. It reminds me of how Mariano Rivera throws one pitch over and over with effectiveness. Dew throws across his body and his ball sinks and dips toward the lefthanded batters box. It is like watching replays over and over as hitters take the ones that stay in the zone and wave at the pitches darting out of their reach.

He has been fun to watch so far.

It is 7-4 Troy mid 6th.

Can we get him some barrettes?

We continue to get delays in the game today. No, not rain. We are having a cap delay.

UL Lafayette closer Danny Farquhar is losing his cap about every other pitch. Normally, he would just pick it up and prepare for the next pitch. But with winds gusting as high as 40 MPH, Farguhar is having to chase his cap around the infield. The first few times that brought a hearty applause from the diehards in attendance. After the fifth or sixth time, the fans are losing their patience with the process.

We just completed another delay as home plate umpire Raymond Gregson III took a pitch off his left hand. After half of the medical community in the southern half of Alabama attended to him, they wrapped it up and Gregson is umping with one hand held behind his back.

First base umpire Chuck Busse left the field to change into his home plate umpire gear and will take Gregson's place so he can head to a local hospital. Kudos to Gregson for gutting it out.

We are 5-4 Troy in the top of the fifth.

Passed ball cheats Weidlich out of a slam

Troy broke through with a four-run third as Shohei Fujita singled, advanced on a pair of walks, and scored on a passed ball. Immediately after the passed ball, Kevin Weidlich slammed a three-run home run. The passed ball cheated Weidlich out of a grand slam.

Troy got the lead and turned the ball over to closer Josh Dew. He only needs to get 18 outs.

We go to the fourth with Troy up 4-1.

Hold on to your kids folks

The wind has picked up - and it was 20 MPH to start with. The flags are stretching away from the poles and while I am heavy enough to resist this, I'm a bit concerned about some youngsters sitting down the first base line.

This wind looks like the footage you seen just before a hurricane comes in where entire rows of trees are bent over in in concert. But despite the hefty assists for the fly balls, we haven't had anything resembling a home run.

We are in the third with no score.

Home run pool

With the 20+ MPH winds bending the trees over outside the stadium, the folks here at Pace-Riddle Stadium pressbox had some pregame predictions on how many home runs the teams would combine to hit. (for the record my guess was 8).

We are in the middle of the second inning with no score.

I didn't pack for this

The weekend was supposed to be wet. It was as thunderstorms rolled through Troy last night. It was not supposed to be cold. Well we have awful baseball conditions as it is low 40s with a brisk wind making it feel much colder.

My shortsleeve shirt was not going to work so I went shopping - on Sunday morning in small town Alabama. Not a lot of options for long-sleeve shirts in April down here is southern Alabama.

I finally found something suitable - am wearing it over my shortsleeve shirt - and still am cold as heck.

On the diamond today - we have a stiff breeze going out. That combined with Sunday pitching could make today a long game.

Gregory Harmon (1-0/4.10) goes on the hill for UL Lafayette while Ryan Ellison (2-1/6.75) is going for Troy. Gametime is 1 p.m. CT.

April 14, 2007

Postgame from Troy

Sitting at 19-16 overall and 7-7 in the Sun Belt, Troy’s high expectations have wilted away with frustration taking its place.

"Our team has not hit the gear that I thought was there," Pierce said. "If that continues very much longer, it is obviously not our year. I still believe the team from a talent standpoint is good enough to make a run. Whether they do that or not is going to be up to their individual mentalities."

But for the Ragin Cajuns, things are looking up.

“It is big for us since we are on the road,” Robichaux said after Saturday‘s 4-3 win. “Our goal is to try to win every series every weekend. It is a rare opportunity to sweep someone on the road.”

They get the opportunity for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Or at least that is the plan. Mother Nature could have other ideas. Saturday’s game was moved from 6, to 1, back to 6, and then finally to 11 a.m.

Cajuns win it 4-3

Troy needs a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game.

Bobby Pierce brought in a pinch-hitter for Shohei Fujita, a player with two hits today. However, he allowed nine-hole hitter Beau Brooks to hit despite a .180 average. That's why he is the coach and we aren't. Brooks smashed a line-drive home run over the wall in right to cut the lead to one.

That would be all they'd get.

When leading after 8

When leading after 8, ULL is 23-0. They have to get three more outs here in Troy to take today's game and clinch the series.

Troy chases Moody

Hunter Moody took a shutout into the eighth before Edgar Ramirez two-run home run chased him from the game after 101 pitches.

Matt Pilgreen relieved Moody and allowed a single to Josh Dew and walked Trevor Tyre. He fanned Matt Tanzi to escape further damage.

Troy got another quality start from Clegg Snipes. After beginning the season as the staff ace, Snipes had struggled but has turned in a pair of quality efforts the past two weeks. Last Sunday he held Coastal Carolina in check. Saturday against UL-Lafayette, he logged seven innings of four hit ball. He allowed three runs - two earned. He walked one, hit two batters, and struck out five.

We are 4-2 Cajuns in the ninth

This much

UL-Lafayette baseball SID Chris Whitehead just explained to me that the Ragin' Cajun baseball team motto is "This much". Last season, they missed out on the Sun Belt Conference regular season title by one game. They were one of the last teams left out of the Regional field. They missed both team goals by "this much".

Well, this season they are looking to avoid missing out on either. So far, so good.

They are leading the conference by two games and if the season ended now, would not only be in a Regional but also a #2 seed.

Back to Back Jacks

Back to back solo home runs in the fifth by Scott Hawkins and Nolan Gisclair. For Hawkins, it was his 11th on the season tying him for the team lead with Jonathan Lucroy. The eleven homers have the duo tied for second in the Sun Belt conference.

Gisclair's homer was his ninth of the season.

As he head to the seventh, UL-Lafayette leads 3-0

Racing the rain

The rain is coming. It isn't here yet but both these pitchers are going like they are late for a date with Scarlett Johansson.

Louisiana-Lafayette's Hunter Moody has scattered three hits through four. Troy's Clegg Snipes has allowed just a pair of hits as he pitches in the fifth. A pair of defensive miscues in the first provide the ULL 1-0 lead in the fifth.

This is a homer-friendly park and both these teams are capable. ULL's Jonathan Lucroy has 11 homers while teammate Scott Hawkins has ten. Troy's Clint Robinson has 11 homers of his own.

With a stiff wind blowing in, this is definitely a day to be pitching.

Checking in from Troy

We are playing early in Troy today. The start time has gone from 6, to 1, to 6, and finally 11 a.m. for game two of Troy's homestand against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Southpaw Hunter Moody (4-2/3.70) is going for the Ragin' Cajuns while Clegg Snipes (2-3/6.02) is going for Troy.

ULL took advantage of a dropped relay on a double-play grounder and a dropped fly ball in short center to score a run in the first.

As we head to the third, ULL leads 1-0.

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