FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
THIBODAUX, La. – Head coach Seth Thibodeaux and the Nicholls State University Colonel baseball team announced the 2014 regular season schedule today, featuring 30 home games at Ray E. Didier Field among the 55 regular-season contests scheduled to begin on Valentine’s Day with a three-game series against the University of Houston in Texas.
Nicholls, coming off of a 26-29 campaign in 2013, will get its fair share of chances to protect home in the upcoming season, as the longest road trip at any point for the squad will be just four games. After the opening-season series against the Cougars, the Colonels will host seven consecutive games from Feb. 18-28, as the team will have a round robin tournament during that run featuring Western Illinois, ULM and Southern Illinois. The Colonels will open the homestand against Loyola-New Orleans on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
“We were able to schedule a lot of quality opponents again this season that are very respected in their leagues and should help us get stronger as a club as the year goes on,” Thibodeaux said. “Whether its Stony Brook two years ago who went to the CWS or Towson who won the CAA last year, our players understand that we are going to schedule solid major and mid-major teams to condition us and prepare us for the Southland Conference slate.”
Along with the home games, Nicholls will also renew its regional rivalries with state and area teams, beginning with a four-game split series against Jackson State with two home games against the Tigers Feb. 27-28, and two games in Jackson March 1-2. The Colonels will also have quick turnarounds playing at Louisiana-Lafayette March 18 before hosting the Cajuns the next day. Nicholls will have home-and-home series’ against South Alabama (March 18, April 9), Southern (April 1 and 23) and Tulane (Feb. 25, April 29).
Nicholls will take on the LSU Tigers March 11 in Baton Rouge at Alex Box Stadium at 6:30 p.m.
The Colonels will welcome back Sacred Heart for one game on March 4, before beginning one of the more intriguing matchups of the season as the team hosts BYU for four games beginning on Thursday, March 6, with a doubleheader scheduled for Friday in Thibodaux.
With the expansion of the Southland in 2014, Nicholls will have its best chance to make its return to the league tournament in May as the unbalanced schedule will not have the Colonels playing Abilene Christian, two-time regular season champ Sam Houston State or Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the upcoming year.
Nicholls will have 15 home league games during the season, beginning with newcomer Houston Baptist March 14-16. The Colonels will also host Oral Roberts for three March 28-30, tournament champion Central Arkansas April 11-13 and close out the year with the McNeese State Cowboys at home May 15-17.
The team will also begin a triangular rivalry with the addition of UNO to the league as well, as the team will now have two split-series’ on the docket, hosting two of three games against UNO with one at the redesigned Maestri Field, while hosting one game in the competitive rivalry against Southeastern Louisiana with two at Alumni Field.
Since the club will host the only two teams that are not based in the state of Texas, Nicholls’ remaining road games in the league will mostly be in the Lone Star State, with the first trip of the season at Lamar March 21-23. Nicholls will also take on Incarnate Word in San Antonio April 17-19 and close out the road schedule at Stephen F. Austin May 9-11.
The Colonels will spend multiple days in Northwest Louisiana for a week, as the group takes on ULM on April 2, before heading a bit south and opening a three-game conference set against Northwestern State two days later.