The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns find themselves 1.5 games out of first place in the Sun Belt Western Division.  The team they are chasing is in town this weekend.

Louisiana (20-18, 10-8 Sun Belt) hosts the Little Rock Trojans (20-14, 9-5) in a three game set at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park.  Game times are set for 6:00pm Friday and Saturday and 1:00pm on Sunday.  All three games can be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM.

In league games, Little Rock is averaging 4.7 runs per game while giving up 4 runs per contest.  Louisiana averages 4.4 rpg and gives up 4.5.  Little Rock is seventh in batting with a .261 average in Sun Belt play, while the Cajuns are ninth with a .240 team batting average.  In league games, Little Rock is third in ERA (3.60) while the Cajuns are fifth (3.93).

Here are the pitching matchups for the weekend:

FRIDAY;  LR-LHP Chandler Fidel (5-2, 3.70) vs. LA-LHP Colten Schmidt (4-0, 1.52)

Fidel has become one of the best pitchers in the league. Just a sophomore, the 6'5" lefty has been just what the Trojans have needed on Friday night.  Since league play began, Fidel is 4-0 with a sparkling 1.85 ERA.  He's averaged more than a strikeout per inning since league play began.  It's been a while since Little Rock has had a legitimate ace.  They have one this year.  But so do the Cajuns.  Schmidt is 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA in conference games.  Schmidt doesn't get a lot of strikeouts, but he doesn't walk people either.  Don't be surprised if runs are at a premium on Friday

SATURDAY:  LR-RHP Pablo Ortiz (2-1, 2.28) vs. LA-LHP Hogan Harris (2-1, 2.82)

Ortiz was pitching out of the bullpen, but has moved into the weekend rotation.  He's pitched just 23.2 innings this season.  But he's been a starter the last three weekends and has performed well, going 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA.  In Sun Belt play, the JUCO transfer out of Laredo, TX has 14 strikeouts in 20.1 innings or work.  Harris is coming off a very good week where he threw nine shutout innings in two appearances.  In his last four appearances covering 18 innings, Harris has allowed just three earned runs.

SUNDAY:  LR-RHP Aaron Funk (1-0, 3.86) vs, LA-RHP Jack Burk (3-4, 4.59)

Funk will be making only his second conference start.  He gave up four runs in 4.2 innings of work in that one appearance.  Overall he's struck out 33 in 30.1 innings.Funk is a freshman from Lawrence, KS.  This will be his sixth overall start on the season.  Burk has allowed three runs or fewer in his last three starts.

Elsewhere in the Sun Belt this weekend, Georgia State is at Coastal Carolina, UTA is at Georgia Southern, Appalachian State is in Monroe to take on ULM, South Alabama is at Texas State and Troy visits Arkansas State.

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