Pitching isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, repetition and focus. Many pitchers experience arm damage such as common pitcher’s elbow or rotator cuff tendinitis.
Despite that, being a pitcher is a vital part of any baseball team. The pitcher controls the mound and has to have effective communication with the catcher and everyone on the team.
The pitcher may be the leader, but baseball is still a team sport.
"These boys love each other, they're very talented, they know how to play together and they compete nasty together,” Head Coach Matt Deggs said.
For the Ragin’ Cajuns, pitchers are and always have been crucial. Let’s start with Conor Angel. He worked hard over the summer to prepare for the upcoming season. In April, Angel was ranked No. 5 in the Sun Belt Conference and No. 149 overall in D1 Baseball Top College Draft Prospect Rankings.
Brandon Young and Carter Robinson are also two pitchers that often ran the show for Louisiana. In March, Young became the first pitcher since 2014 to record three consecutive double-digit strikeout starts. In February, he pitched the first complete-game shutout since 2016. He also ranked No. 102 out of 150 for top starting pitchers in Division I. Most recently, he signed a professional deal with the Baltimore Orioles.
Coach Deggs spoke highly of Young.
"I am very proud of Brandon Young. He is a young man with a ton of potential that found a way to put it all together and finish a shortened season as legitimately one of the top pitchers in the country,” Deggs said.
Deggs went on to compliment Young’s gameplay.
“Brandon is big, physical and very versatile. He can start or pitch in the back of the bullpen. He always wants the ball, loves to pitch and most importantly loves to compete. He pitches with bad intentions for the hitter and I love that," he said.
For Robinson, he knew from the beginning he wanted to be a pitcher.
“Growing up I always idolized Randy Johnson. Got to see him in person a couple times when I was a kid. Luis Gonzalez was another, but I always wanted to be a pitcher,” Robinson said.
He had a successful first season with Louisiana, pitching 20.2 innings and owning a 2-1 record with a 1.31 ERA.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are notable for their previous pitchers as well. Last year, former Louisiana pitcher Jose Alvarez was inducted to the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Alvarez played two seasons for Louisiana where he led them in wins and strikeouts before making it to the MLB. As of August 2020, the Ragin’ Cajuns have 10 former pitchers who are now in the MLB.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished a great summer league and recently competed in their first scrimmage. They are hopeful for a promising upcoming season.
Last season, Louisiana finished seventh nationally in average attendance per game during the 2020 campaign. For a shortened season that ended with an 8-9 record, that is phenomenal. Currently, the team has 19 pitchers for the upcoming season.