Dressed in an array of various jerseys from some of their favorite sports teams, the Louisiana Tech baseball team loaded the bus Wednesday afternoon at JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park and departed for Austin, Texas.
The Bulldogs will call Austin home for the next five days as the No. 2 seed in the Austin Regional, joining No. 1 seed and the host Longhorns, No. 3 seed Dallas Baptist and No. 4 seed Air Force. The double elimination tournament begins Friday when Texas hosts Air Force at 1 p.m. followed by the Bulldogs against the Patriots at 6:30 p.m.
Head coach Lane Burroughs said he had a feeling last week heading into Hattiesburg for the Conference USA Tournament. That feeling became a reality with back-to-back, dramatic walk-off wins — including the 9-8 victory over UTSA in the title game Sunday.
“I thought it was our tournament to lose,” said Burroughs, who has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back 40-plus win seasons and regional appearances. “I’ve been in situations where you could feel the pulse of the team and the vibe in the dugout, and you just kind of get out of their way and that’s really what we did.
“The amazing thing is we didn’t have a walk-off win the entire season and then low and behold, we go to the conference tournament and (have back-to-back walk-off wins). I am extremely, extremely proud of our players and coaches to bring that trophy home.”
With the trophy in tow and C-USA Tournament Champions on their resume, the Bulldogs were able to enjoy Monday’s selection show when they learned they were headed to Austin.
“It was a lot of adrenaline,” said Burroughs. “A lot of excitement. It’s kind of like Christmas morning. You can’t wait to get up. You love walking in the room for the Selection Show knowing in advance your name is going to get called.”
Tech has practice today from 11:30 a.m to 12:45 p.m. at at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Burroughs said he likes where his team is heading into the weekend.
“We are looking forward to the next step and that’s obviously the regional with a really good field,” he said. “We are excited about getting down there this week and competing against really good ball clubs.
“They guys are joking around. Having fun with each other. This time of the year the hay is in the barn. You aren’t reinventing much right now. You need to let those guys be who they are. You have to let them be loose and have fun. They have found it. They have found their mojo. They had the swag going. So I write the lineup out, backup and let them do their thing.”