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Northwestern State to face No. 4 LSU today in make-up game
Mar 06, 2014 | 108 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State’s Matthew Alford and the Demons will look to knock off No. 4 LSU today at 3 p.m. Photo by Gary Hardamon/Northwestern State.
Northwestern State’s Matthew Alford and the Demons will look to knock off No. 4 LSU today at 3 p.m. Photo by Gary Hardamon/Northwestern State.
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For the first time since 2003, Brown-Stroud Field will host LSU when the Northwestern State baseball team and the Tigers square off at 3 p.m. today in the finale of the “State of Purple” event on NSU’s campus.

Tuesday’s game between the two teams was postponed today due to icy roads that caused dangerous travel conditions.

The top three attendance records for Brown-Stroud are all games that featured the Demons (6-4) and the No. 4 Tigers (9-2). The game's attendance 2,329 in 2003 is second to the NSU’s 10-8 win over LSU in 2001 that had a crowd of 4,214.

LSU edged the Demons in 13 innings last year in Baton Rouge, 2-1. The Demons topped the Tigers 5-2 in Alex Box Stadium in 2011.

Live stats for both events will be available at NSUDemons.com along with radio for both games that will be carried in Natchitoches at 100.7 KZBL-FM. Patrick Netherton will have the call today.

“It always big when you get the flagship university to come to your own park, not to mention that they are ranked in the Top 5. That’s big no matter who it is,” said second-year head coach Lane Burroughs, who was an assistant in the SEC at Mississippi State for four seasons.

“We thank Coach (Paul) Mainieri for doing it,” he said. “It’s good for the state and it’s good for college baseball. Our main focus right now is to go out and win the ball game.”

Until Louisiana-Lafayette’s rain-shortened win at LSU on Feb. 25, the Demons were the last team to beat the Tigers in a midweek game and the last in-state rival to take them down. In 2011, NSU downed No. 21 LSU 5-2 in game that is most memorable for Mason Melotakis’ 10 strikeouts in 13 batters faced.

In 2010, the Demons and Tigers played on back-to-back days. The first contest was played in Shreveport at Fair Grounds Field followed by a contest in Baton Rouge at Alex Box Stadium. In 1996, coach Dave Van Horn’s Demons swept a two-game series at LSU.

“We respect LSU for their history as one of the most tradition-rich programs in baseball, but we’re going out and try to win the baseball game,” said Burroughs.

Last season, the Tigers defeated NSU 2-1 in 13 innings. LSU jumped on the board first in the opening inning and Northwestern State rallied to tie it in the eighth inning. All three pitchers (Cody Butler, Steven Spann, and Cameron Brewer) who pitched for NSU in that game are on the 2014 squad.

“We had a chance to win the game, but couldn’t punch it through. We had every opportunity to win it,” said Burroughs. “They are going to come out with a lot to play for. Every game in college baseball is important when it comes to RPI.

“They will come out firing and will be excited because there should be a big crowd,” he said. “A lot of their players are from this area of the state, and I know they’ll be pumped to be up here.”

Senior right-hander Spann (2-1, 3.27 ERA) will start for NSU on the mound on Tuesday. Against LSU last season, he worked three innings and allowed two walks and struck out two. This season he has appeared in three games with two starts. He has 11 innings logged on the year with 10 hits, four runs, and six strikeouts.

LSU will start left-handed freshman Jared Poché (2-0, 0.69). He appeared in two games, both starts, and worked 13 innings with eight hits and one run allowed. Poché has 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Caleb Dugas leads the Demons at the plate this season. He has played at first base in all 10 games and had a .333 batting average with seven hits, seven runs batted in and runs scored. Chase Daughdrill, who has reached base in every game this season, is hitting .286 with a team-lead 11 RBIs and eight runs.

Tuesday’s game is the first of two between the two programs in 2014 as NSU travels to Baton Rouge on May 13.

This weekend, Northwestern State will host a three-team event that features NSU, Chicago State, and McNeese State that starts Friday at 6:30 p.m.
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