NATCHITOCHES – When Bobby Barbier looks across the Brown-Stroud Field infield and into the third-base dugout Tuesday, he will see a familiar, friendly face.
Barbier’s Northwestern State baseball team hosts LSUA in the Demons’ lone home mid-week game of the 2021 season, bringing together a pair of former Northwestern State teammates who now are head coaches for a 6 p.m. first pitch on “$2 Tuesday.”
All general admission tickets for Tuesday’s matchup are available for $2 while concessions specials include $2 nachos and hot dogs as well as $2 Michelob Ultra Spicy Pineapple Seltzer, Cucumber Lime Seltzer and Pure Gold beer. Additionally, there will be $2 T-shirts and additional NSU items available as part of the Demon Garage Sale.
“It will be good to have those guys here,” Barbier said. “(LSUA coach) Steven Adams, we call him Skunk, has been a good friend of mine. We played together here.”
The former teammates will meet for the second time as head coaches. Northwestern State grabbed a 6-3 win on April 17, 2019, a game in which seven current Demons started or pitched, including pitcher Peyton Graham, who earned his first career win against the Generals.
While the mid-week game is a rarity this season for the Demons (9-12), it could not have come at a better time for NSU, which has dropped four straight after a weekend sweep at the hands of South Alabama.
“It will be good for us to get back out there right away,” Barbier said. “These four-game (Southland) series leave a lot of time to think about them. There’s more time to prepare but more time to have that sour taste in your mouth. After a tough weekend, it will be good to get out and compete again.”
The matchup marks the second Southland Conference opponent for LSUA, which was 12-12 entering a Monday afternoon contest against Champion Christian. The Generals fell to McNeese 16-6 on March 16.
Barbier’s friendship with Adams helped the programs rekindle their rivalry in 2019 and Barbier said he hopes to continue to play LSUA in future seasons.
“Hopefully, it expands our footprint,” Barbier said. “We want to get people from Alexandria here for more games, and we’re not opposed to playing down there. We have that vision. It was supposed to happen this year, but because of COVID it didn’t happen.
“When I played here, we always played Centenary in Shreveport, or we’d go and play Louisiana College or someone in Alexandria. It’s good to play teams in your region. It lets new fans see the product.”
The Demons are expected to start junior right-hander Josh Banes (1-1, 6.52) while LSUA has yet to name a starter because of their Monday game against Champion Christian.