Burroughs, Walker boast benefits of Tech hosting 2024 C-USA Baseball Championships

JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park will host the 2024 C-USA Baseball Championships. (Photo courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications)

By Malcolm Butler

For the second time in four years, J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park will host the Conference USA Baseball Championships.

The University broke the news late Tuesday afternoon that the Bulldogs will play host to seven other teams in what will be the new-look Conference USA with the five-day event set for May 22-26.

Head coach Lane Burroughs and the Bulldogs showed off the Love Shack in 2021 — the first year of the new facility — as Tech fought its way out of the losers bracket, including two dramatic wins over Southern Miss on elimination Saturday, to play Old Dominion in the championship game. Tech fell 8-7 to the Monarchs but would play host to the program’s first ever NCAA Regional the following week.

Burroughs said the opportunity to play host in 2024 is a huge plus for his program.

“No. 1 your fan base has the opportunity to come out and watch all of the games,” said Burroughs. “We are always going to be at the top or towards the top of the league in attendance with our fan base and our season ticket base. It will be well attended. Our city and our fans love baseball. 

“No. 2 it is an advantage if there are any types of weather delays. You have the ability to go to your own locker room and into your own facility. You don’t have to go sit on a bus or go back to the hotel. You are in the friendly confines of your own home.

“But first and foremost, it’s so great for our fans. We have a great fan base that loves Tech Athletics and loves Bulldog baseball. I know they will come out to support us like they did (in 2021).”

The five-day tournament is a true double elimination format over the first four days with Sunday’s championship game a winner-take all format.

“We are thrilled that the C-USA Baseball Championship is coming back to the city of Ruston and the Love Shack in 2024,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Eric A. Wood. “We have enjoyed collaborating with the city and local partners to provide a first-class experience when hosting conference tournaments and look forward to doing so again.”

C-USA will field nine baseball teams for the 2024 season – Dallas Baptist, FIU, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, and WKU — with the top eight in the regular season standings qualifying.

LA Tech also recently hosted the 2023 C-USA Softball Championship and is scheduled to host the 2023 C-USA Soccer Tournament this fall.

Ruston mayor Ronny Walker said the University’s ability to land these events is just another opportunity for the city to showcase its hospitality.

“It’s incredible that Conference USA chose to come back to Ruston that quickly,” said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker. “Obviously, the incredible facility that Louisiana Tech has is a huge draw. It’s great for our city as (the event) will bring the fan bases from seven other schools to our city and those fans will get to experience what Ruston is all about with our restaurants, hotels and hospitality. We look forward to it and we appreciate the great partnership between the City of Ruston and Louisiana Tech.”