New Southland format highlights 2021 NSU baseball slate

NATCHITOCHES – The opponents haven’t changed, but the 2021 Northwestern State baseball schedule has a slightly different look to it than it did a month ago.

The Demons released their 2021 slate Monday, one that comes with the same expected 10 Southland Conference opponents but with 10 additional conference games. The league announced earlier this month it would play 40 conference games instead of the 30 it has scheduled the past seven seasons.

“I think this setup gives us the best chance to play the highest amount of games and crown a true champion in a season where there will be games lost,” said head coach Bobby Barbier, who begins his sixth season at the helm of his alma mater.

The rise in conference games meant Northwestern State had to slice its number of midweek games by more than 70 percent. As it stands, the Demons will play just three mid-week matchups this season.

NSU’s lone scheduled home mid-week game is set for March 30 against LSU-Alexandria while the Demons will make mid-week trips to ULM (Feb. 23) and LSU (May 18).

While Northwestern State will not play many mid-week games at home, three of the four non-conference weekends will take place at Brown-Stroud Field.

NSU will host Tarleton State (Feb. 26-28), Austin Peay (March 5-7) and South Alabama (March 26-28) in non-conference action. The Demons’ lone non-conference road weekend is a season-opening, three-game series at Southern Miss from Feb. 19-21.

The matchup with the Golden Eagles marks the first time the Demons have started a season on the road since 2015.

“Opening on the road against a really good opponent will make us grow closer as a team and also expose some things we need to work on to continue to get better as the season goes on,” Barbier said. “I have played and coached at Southern Miss many times. It is one of the great environments in college baseball and a great place to go compete.

“I love playing consecutive home series early in the year because I think it gives our fans a great chance to get to know our players and their stories.”

Northwestern State both opens and caps Southland Conference play at home, beginning with a March 12-14, four-game set against Incarnate Word. The Demons also host Lamar (April 9-11), Nicholls (April 23-25), McNeese (May 7-9) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (May 20-22).

NSU’s Southland road series are at Sam Houston (March 19-21), Abilene Christian (April 1-3), Houston Baptist (April 15-17), Central Arkansas (April 30-May 2) and Stephen F. Austin (May 14-16).

“Conference play in this league is always tough,” Barbier said. “This year will be about resiliency. Cane we truly play one game at a time in a four-game weekend series, or do we let one game affect the other? Can we respond when things don’t go our way, and we have a few guys out. The team that handles these things the best this year will give themselves the best chance for success.”

Ticket information for the Demons’ 30 home games can be found by calling 318-357-4268.

2021 Northwestern State Baseball Schedule

Date                      Opponent                           Location

Feb. 19                  Southern Miss                   Hattiesburg, Miss.

Feb. 20                  Southern Miss                   Hattiesburg, Miss.

Feb. 21                  Southern Miss                   Hattiesburg, Miss.

Feb. 23                  ULM                                       Monroe

Feb. 26                  Tarleton State                   Brown-Stroud Field

Feb. 27                  Tarleton State                   Brown-Stroud Field

Feb. 28                  Tarleton State                   Brown-Stroud Field

March 5                Austin Peay                        Brown-Stroud Field

March 6                Austin Peay                        Brown-Stroud Field

March 7                Austin Peay                        Brown-Stroud Field

March 12             Incarnate Word*              Brown-Stroud Field

March 13             Incarnate Word (DH)*    Brown-Stroud Field

March 14             Incarnate Word*              Brown-Stroud Field

March 19             Sam Houston*                  Huntsville, Texas

March 20             Sam Houston (DH)*        Huntsville, Texas

March 21             Sam Houston*                  Huntsville, Texas

March 26             South Alabama                  Brown-Stroud Field

March 27             South Alabama                  Brown-Stroud Field

March 28             South Alabama                  Brown-Stroud Field

March 30             LSU-Alexandria                 Brown-Stroud Field

April 1                   Abilene Christian*           Abilene, Texas

April 2                   Abilene Christian (DH)* Abilene, Texas

April 3                   Abilene Christian*           Abilene, Texas

April 9                   Lamar*                                 Brown-Stroud Field

April 10                 Lamar (DH)*                       Brown-Stroud Field

April 11                 Lamar*                                 Brown-Stroud Field

April 16                 Houston Baptist*             Houston

April 17                 Houston Baptist (DH)*   Houston

April 18                 Houston Baptist*             Houston

April 23                 Nicholls*                              Brown-Stroud Field

April 24                 Nicholls (DH)*                   Brown-Stroud Field

April 25                 Nicholls*                              Brown-Stroud Field

April 30                 Central Arkansas*           Conway, Ark.

May 1                    Central Arkansas (DH)* Conway, Ark.

May 2                    Central Arkansas*           Conway, Ark.

May 7                    McNeese*                          Brown-Stroud Field

May 8                    McNeese (DH)*                Brown-Stroud Field

May 9                    McNeese*                          Brown-Stroud Field

May 14                 Stephen F. Austin*          Nacogdoches, Texas

May 15                 Stephen F. Austin (DH)* Nacogdoches, Texas

May 16                 Stephen F. Austin*          Nacogdoches, Texas

May 18                 LSU                                        Baton Rouge

May 20                 Texas A&M-CC*                Brown-Stroud Field

May 21                 Texas A&M-CC (DH)*     Brown-Stroud Field

May 22                 Texas A&M-CC*                Brown-Stroud Field

May 26-29           SLC Tournament               TBA

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