Cajuns, Ole Miss only have to weather intermittent heavy rain
LAFAYETTE — Rain threatened to delay Monday’s Game 3 of the NCAA Lafayette super regional between Louisiana-Lafayette and Ole Miss, but it was fortunately nothing compared to the weather scare Ole Miss fans had back in Oxford, Mississippi.
A tornado warning sounded in Oxford on Monday afternoon before the first pitch in Lafayette.
Thunderstorms produced high winds and hail but no tornado apparently touched down, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, a frontal boundary dragging across western Louisiana brought brief periods of heavy rain to M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
Despite an apparent complaint from Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco about a muddy mound in the fourth inning, the game continued.
Associate head coach Anthony Babineaux applied drying material to the mound between innings.
Plitt still pitching
UL-Lafayette reliever Matt Plitt was a workhorse in this super regional.
He came on in the fifth for his third relief appearance against Ole Miss.
Plitt pitched two innings of scoreless relief in the Cajuns’ 9-5 win Saturday and got the final out in the ninth inning of UL-Lafayette’s 5-2 loss to the Rebels on Sunday.
Throughout their stellar season, the Cajuns have been a better team on the road than they have been at home.
UL-Lafayette is 32-8 at Moore Field after Monday night’s super regional loss.
But the Cajuns were 26-2 away from home this season, including a 4-0 neutral field record.
The Cajuns’ only road losses were the third game of Sun Belt series at UT Arlington and Arkansas State.
Heavy on experience
The Cajuns returned all but one player from last year’s team that reached the Baton Rouge regional final, and the numbers bear out the experience on the UL-Lafayette squad.
Including Monday’s game, when the Cajuns started the same lineup as they used in the first two super regional games, the eight position players have teamed for 923 career starts.
Five Cajuns have started more than 100 career games: Jace Conrad (157), Chase Compton (153), Michael Strentz (149), Blake Trahan (129) and Seth Harrison (110).
We three seeds
All three national seeds that made it to the super regionals were pushed to winner-take-all games Monday to advance to the College World Series.
In addition to No. 6-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette playing Ole Miss, No. 3 Virginia (the highest remaining national seed) was pushed to a third game by Maryland. TCU, the No. 7 seed, had to rally in the ninth to beat Pepperdine 6-5.
Ole Miss will play Virginia, which beat Maryland, in the final game of the first round in the CWS at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Advocate sportswriters Scott Rabalais and Ross Dellenger and correspondent Dan McDonald contributed to this report.