NSU Assistant Sports Information Director
After playing its final non-conference weekend series of the season, the Northwestern State baseball team steps back into Southland Conference play Wednesday night – sort of.
The Demons continue their season-long, seven-game road trip with a 6 p.m. matchup against conference rival Lamar at Vincent-Beck Stadium. The catch is neither this
The catch is neither this game, nor the two between the teams next week at Brown-Stroud Field, will count in the conference standings. What remains for the Demons (5-13) and Cardinals (11-10) is a matchup between two teams who have met 70 times since the 1991 season.
“They’re a good team, and they’re three hours down the road, so it makes sense for us to play even though we’re not on the conference schedule,” first-year coach Bobby Barbier said. “They swing the bats like they have before. They’ll be a good mid-week opponent for us, a good test before we head to Corpus Christi.”
The Demons dropped three straight at Oklahoma State, the third Big 12 Conference foe for Northwestern State in its first 18 games.
Wednesday’s game starts a run of nine straight games against Southland Conference opponents for the Demons that goes through April 2.
“It’s nice playing a Southland Conference team, a team you match up with for the most part,” Barbier said.
A season ago, the Demons and Cardinals finished tied for third in the Southland with Northwestern State earning the No. 3 seed.
The teams find themselves trending in similar ways this season.
The Demons are 1-2 in conference play while Lamar has gone 1-5 against Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana to begin Southland play.
The Cardinals avoided a second straight sweep in conference play by scoring 11 consecutive runs Sunday to grab a 13-5 comeback victory against the Lions.
Additionally, both Barbier and his Lamar counterpart, Will Davis, are in their first seasons as head coaches.
“When I was at Alabama, coach Davis was at LSU, so we got to know each other pretty well over the years,” Barbier said.
The Demons will send right-hander Dan Hlad (0-1, 6.88) to the mound against Lamar right-hander Galen Andrews (1-0, 3.24). Audio from the game will be streamed live on http://www.NSUDemons.com.