Demons announce 2022 schedule

With a return to something features the return of some familiar faces and the typical grouping of NCAA Regional opponents.

Sixth-year head coach Bobby Barbier announced the schedule, which includes 28 home games, Thursday.

“We are excited about getting back to a normal routine this spring with midweek games,” Barbier said. “I believe we have put together a tough schedule where we will need to be prepared to give our best competitive effort every time out. I know our guys are preparing this holiday season for that and are excited about playing it.

Four NCAA Regional teams – McNeese, Louisiana Tech, LSU and Nebraska – dot Northwestern State’s schedule.

The Demons will face Nebraska twice in Arlington, Texas, mixing in a game against UT Arlington during the weekend of March 4-6. NSU travels to McNeese from May 6-8 and will face LSU in its final mid-week game of the season, May 17, in Baton Rouge.

After not playing in 2020 or 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Demons and Louisiana Tech will play a home-and-home season series with the first game coming April 12 in Ruston. NSU will host the Bulldogs at Brown-Stroud Field on May 4.

In addition to Louisiana Tech, the Demons will face state foes Grambling, UL Lafayette, ULM and LSU-Alexandria in home-and-home midweek series and mix in a home-and-home with former Southland Conference rival Lamar. A season ago, Northwestern State played three total mid-week games – at ULM and LSU and at home against LSU-Alexandria.

“It is always fun to get back to playing those guys,” Barbier said. “Our players grow up playing with a lot of theirs which causes some familiarity and some competitive battles.”

NSU opens the season against another familiar opponent – former SLC member Stephen F. Austin – from Feb. 18-20. After hosting ULM on Feb. 22, the Demons head to Oklahoma (Feb. 25-27) and face a combination of Nebraska and UT Arlington (March 4-6) before returning home for their final two non-conference weekend series.

The Demons host Alcorn (March 11-13) and then welcome South Dakota State to Brown-Stroud Field for a four-game set from March 17-19.

NSU begins its 24-game Southland Conference schedule at New Orleans (March 25-27). The Demons and Privateers meet six times this season, closing out the regular season in Natchitoches from May 13-15.

The Demons’ three other home Southland series come against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 1-3), Houston Baptist (April 22-24) and Southeastern (April 29-May 1). NSU makes Southland road trips to Incarnate Word (April 8-10), Nicholls (April 14-16) and McNeese (May 6-8).

The Southland Conference Tournament takes on a unique look this season, extending across two weekends at campus sites. The top two finishers in the regular season each will host a four-team, regional-style tournament May 19-21. The two winners will play a best-of-three series the next weekend to earn the Southland Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.

Season ticket packages are available at the Northwestern State Athletics Ticket Office or online at VIP season tickets are on sale for $225 while a general admission season pack runs $125. For more information on tickets call (318) 357-4268.

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services