By Lori Lyons, Rougarou Writer
Down a game and with their playoff life on the line Wednesday night, the Baton Rouge Rougarou simply couldn’t find their mojo to overcome the Acadiana Cane Cutters at Fabacher Field.
Acadiana out-hit and out-pitched the Rougarou to take a 7-0 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three series and advance to Saturday’s championship game of the Texas Collegiate League against the Victoria Generals. The Rougarou finished its season 19-21.
But what a season it was.
As the players return to Baton Rouge to gather their belongings, say goodbye to their host families, prepare for their next semesters of college and their next seasons of college ball, they will always have the Rougarou Summer of ’22.
They were a team of players from all over, that had to be put together quickly under a new owner, with a new coaching staff, and that struggled to find a rhythm in the heat of June, limping to a 7-15 record that put them in fourth place and eight and half games out of first place in the league.
But things got hot in July. The team went 12-6-1 to finish just two games out of first place and secure the team’s first playoff spot in the three years of its existence. In the final two games of the regular season, the Rougarou scored 28 runs over the Cane Cutters.
But the team couldn’t carry that momentum into the playoffs. After dropping Game 1, 6-1, on Tuesday, the Rougarou were shutout on Wednesday, 7-0.
Acadiana’s pitchers, including starter Josh Mancuso (7 IP) held the Rougarou to four hits, walked one and struck out 16. Reed Eason, Landrey Wilkerson, Brayden Caskey and Derrald Moore Jr. were the only Baton Rouge players to get hits. Caskey drew the lone walk. Every batter in the Rougarou lineup except for Landry Alligood struck out at least once.
The Rougarou pitchers couldn’t quite match up. Starter Aiden Vosburg, Kade Linn and Connor Wilson gave up seven hits, walked eight and struck out 10.
Acadiana did most of its damage in the top of the fifth inning, scoring five runs on two hits with the help of four walks, two with bases loaded.