Southern, ULL baseball teams to square off

The Southern University baseball team travels to face Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday night, a matchup pitting two veteran coaches who have combined for 1,748 career wins.

ULL coach Tony Robichaux picked up his 900th win in a 9-6 win over Texas-San Antonio last month.

Southern coach Roger Cador, in his 29th year in the SU dugout, is up to 838 career wins after the Jaguars took two of three games from Grambling over the weekend. Cador won his 800th game at Northwestern State in February 2012.

“That means we’ve been around a long time,” Cador said, tongue in cheek, of the coaches and their win totals.

“But I’m sure (Robichaux) is not counting wins. He’s looking at how many kids he has graduated and helped to become better people.”

Action at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field in Lafayette gets under way at 6 p.m.

Southern (9-8) looks to knock off track a ULL team that has won five in a row and nine of its past 10.

A week after taking two of three at Southern Miss, the Ragin’ Cajuns (16-3) opened Sun Belt Conference action with a three-game sweep of Louisiana-Monroe, last year’s league tournament champion.

Tyler Girouard leads the ULL offense with a .429 batting average, three homers and 13 RBIs. Caleb Adams is batting .324 with four homers and 11 RBIs. As a team, ULL is hitting .310 with 15 homers.

Although the Cajuns are off to a strong start, Cador said the focus Tuesday will not be the opponent.

“We can’t worry about what they’re doing over there,” he said. “We just have to figure out a way to get better ourselves. We just need that experience to correct some things we aren’t doing well.”

The Cajuns are expected to pitch junior right-hander Chase Traffica, who is 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts.

Cador counters with freshman right-hander Camilo Godoy, whose only previous action came in two starts against Nicholls State.

Godoy went 4.2 innings in a loss at Nicholls, giving up four runs on six hits and striking out six. He then went 5.1 innings against the Colonels in a Southern win, giving up two runs on three hits.

Southern swept a doubleheader from Grambling on Saturday but lost a late lead Sunday and was unable to complete the series sweep.

Cador said the Jaguars must do a better job of producing the key hit.

“We need to have more than one or two people doing a good job with situational hitting,” Cador said. “We have to stay within ourselves.”

Derrick Hopkins and Marcus Tomlin have provided much of Southern’s offensive punch.

Hopkins, who had a grand slam Saturday against Grambling, is hitting .364 with two homers and 13 RBIs. Tomlin is right behind him at .362 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

Freshman leadoff hitter Sean Washington was on fire to start the season, but went 1-for-12 at Grambling over the weekend. He enters Tuesday batting .281.

“Sean has a tendency to try to do more than he should,” Cador said. “We have to be patient. He’s got to fight through it.”

ULL holds a 47-23-1 edge against Southern in the series, including a 10-2 mark during the Robichaux era.

The teams split a home-and-home series last year, both games decided by a single run.