Charlotte entered the final regular season weekend of the year as the hottest team in Conference USA.
The 49ers had won 11 of their last 12 league games.
Enter Louisiana Tech.
After falling 11-3 in the first game of the series Thursday, head coach Lane Burroughs and Co. dominated Charlotte, winning 8-3 on Friday and 14-5 on Saturday to close the regular season strong.
With the victories, Tech (38-18, 20-10 C-USA) finished second in the 12-team Conference USA standings and will enter this week’s league championships as the No. 2 seed. Tech will face a familiar foe – Charlotte – in its first game Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg.
“I just met with the guys, and I told them it has been a great journey so far,” said Burroughs following his team’s win on Saturday. “There are a lot of teams whose seasons are over. Going 20-10 usually wins you a championship, but I am proud of our guys considering we are playing in the fourth toughest conference in the country. Not too shabby at all and the journey is not over.”
Saturday’s victory was highlighted by a seven-run first inning that saw the Bulldogs send 10 batters to the plate. Six of the seven runs came with two outs capped by Wade Elliott’s grand slam home run.
“Our guys had to fight and show some toughness,” said Burroughs. “We kind of got manhandled Thursday night. There have been plenty of times this year when we could have thrown up our hands. But I am very proud of these guys for finishing the season the way they did.”
The Bulldogs are still in the hunt for an NCAA Regional bid. The winner of the upcoming Conference USA Tournament will receive the automatic bid for the league but with four teams ranked in the Top 50 of the most current NCAA RPI, the odds of Conference USA receiving multiple bids is strong.