PINEVILLE-- On Tuesday, Louisiana College baseball announced its 2018 schedule of games. The slate of games includes 24 in American Southwest Conference play and a nine-game, season opening homestand. The Wildcats will play a total of 24 games at the friendly confines of Billy Allgood Field, including four ASC series. Opening day is set for February 9 at 6pm as the Wildcats host Sewanee: The University of the South.
A nine-game homestand starts the season for the Wildcats on February 9, that includes four games against Sewanee, three against Rust College, and a doubleheader with in-state opponent Loyola University of New Orleans. All told, LC will play 14 of its first 18 games at Bill Allgood Field. The lone road trip in the first month of the season, takes the Wildcats to Sherman, Texas for a pair of doubleheaders against Austin College.
"Our whole goal is to be ready for that first week in conference," Head Coach Mike Byrnes said. "We play 11 games before we open up with conference and we'll look at a lot of different lineups in that time to try and find what the right combination is for us to get into the playoffs. The season is really made up of three sections, preseason non-conference games, then our conference schedule, then the tournament. We'll look at a lot of things early and hopefully we'll get some guys that can figure it out and we'll be successful when we get into conference."
The Wildcats open ASC play with one of the top teams of the past few year in the Comets of the University of Texas at Dallas. LC was swept by UTD last season in Richardson, Texas but the Comets make the trip to Pineville for the opening weekend of conference play on the first weekend of March in 2018.
"They should be a top 20 team," Byrnes said. "They had a real nice team last year and have a lot of guys back from that squad. It's going to be a good test for us, we're excited about opening up with them. Best thing about it is we play them at our place and we'll play anybody at our house."
LC will finish its non-conference schedule with a doubleheader with Dakota State University on March 7, and a Cox Sports TV game in Pineville against in-state rival Centenary College on Monday, March 19. After a weekend set with Sul Ross State following the Centenary game, the Wildcats make one of their tough conference road trips to Austin, Texas for a series with Concordia. The Wildcats also have road ASC series against the University of Texas at Tyler and Howard Payne University to end the year.
"You always want to play at home if you can but when you go on the road you've got to take care of your business," Byrnes said. "If you want to make the playoffs, the cliché is you've got to win two out of three every weekend, and that's what we're going to try to do. We go to Concordia, Tyler, wherever it is, we're going to do what we try to do and then take care of business at home and everything else will work out."
The annual "Autism Awareness Game" is scheduled for Friday, April 20 bu no official date has been set for the "Cats Crush Cancer" game, but will likely take place during the home series against Belhaven University April 6-7, or LeTourneau University April 20-21. The Wildcats play their final regular season home games on April 21, a doubleheader against the Yellow Jackets, with senior day activities scheduled to begin before the day's first game.
To stay up-to-date on Louisiana College baseball as they prepare for, and throughout the 2018 season, follow @LC_bsb on Twitter. For general athletics news follow @LC_Wildcats on Twitter or like Louisiana College Wildcats on Facebook.