Bulldogs head to Austin Regional

Louisiana Tech players react to seeing their name in the Austin Regional during Monday’s Selection Show gathering at the DAC. (photo by Tom Morris)

While other teams across the country were sweating it out Monday morning in anticipation of the NCAA Baseball Selection Show, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were able to relax.

Sure, they were excited.

Where would they go? Who would they play? What seed would they be?

But bottom line: Lane Burroughs and Co. knew they were in by virtue of their 9-8 win over UTSA Sunday in the Conference USA championship game in Hattiesburg.

Tech’s name was called midway through the show as the Bulldogs popped up as the No. 2 seed in the Austin Regional. Tech will face No. 3 seed Dallas Baptist Friday at 6:30 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, home to the No. 9 national seed Texas Longhorns.

Texas will face Air Force in the first game Friday at 1 p.m.

One of the four teams will come out of the Austin Regional double-elimination format and advance to face the winner of the Greenville Regional hosted by East Carolina in a Super Regional.

Burroughs said he has a lot of respect for Dallas Baptist, a team that defeated the Bulldogs 7-4 on March 29 in Ruston. The match-up is a precursor to future Conference USA games as the Patriots will join the league as an affiliate baseball member in 2023.

“I think Coach (Dan) Heefner is one of the best coaches in the country,” said Burroughs, who addressed media following a selection show party held at the Davison Athletics Complex Monday. “I love the way he runs his program. They are very similar to us the way they run their program and talent wise.

“We already played them this year. They beat us; got the best of us. They are coming in our league next year. I guess we will have to play them twice with them being our closest opponent so we will become real familiar with them here in the near future.”

Dallas Baptist boasts a 34-22-1 record this year, including a 11-9-1 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. However, the Patriots boast the No. 1 strength of schedule in non-conference play this year. DBU defeated Southern Miss (3 times), Maryland (twice), TCU (twice), Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.

“I have tons and tons of respect for Coach Heefner and Dallas Baptist,” said Burroughs. “We are going to have to bring it. You can’t look ahead. It’s a good regional. They all are. It’s 64 teams that can really play. We are looking forward to going out and competing against DBU again.”

Senior shortstop Taylor Young said he believes his team is ready and is excited about heading to Austin.

“I love this team,” said Young. “It’s a special group. We are rough and gritty. We are super, super close. It’s special to go to back-to-back regionals. What Coach Burroughs has done with this program will continue for years to come. I couldn’t be more thankful for him. I can’t see what the rest of this year has in store for us.”

Despite Conference USA ranking as the fifth toughest baseball league in the country in 2022, only Tech and Southern Miss received bids. UTSA and Old Dominion who many people thought would be in the field of 64 were left out.

All-session tickets will go on sale Wednesday, June 1 at 10 a.m. CST at TexasSports.com/Tickets. If available, single-session tickets will go on sale Friday, June 3 at 10 a.m. CST.

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