THIBODAUX, La. — Following nearly a full-year hiatus away from official competition, the Nicholls State University baseball program (0-0, 0-0 SLC) heads back out onto the diamond this weekend to open the team’s 2021 campaign in earnest, kicking off the year with a three-game non-conference series against Eastern Illinois (0-0, 0-0 OVC) slated for Saturday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 21 within the ever-friendly confines of Ray E. Didier Field.
Of specific note, the Red & Gray roster features a number of significant differences entering the unprecedented season, as NCAA guidelines gifted all student-athletes an extra year of eligibility following shortened or canceled runs in 2020 while also relaxing usually-strict 35-man rule. As such, a decent portion of the Colonels’ veteran guard opted to rejoin the program, creating a strong leadership network aimed at reinforcing head coach Seth Thibodeaux and his staff.
According to 11th-year skipper, the opportunity to put out a product with the amount of talent and experience his staff has seen over the past few months bodes well for the Colonels heading into Southland play later this spring, as a string of notable returners have set the tone for a barrage of talented newcomers looking to make an immediate impact.
“This team will be ready,” Thibodeaux said. “They are hungry. We still have room to grow and develop, but the leadership on this team has been diverse and powerful, as guys like Trever Kilcrease, Dillon Belle and Alec Paz have naturally fallen into those roles over the past 11 months, and I’m excited to see them perform alongside some new faces. We’ve got a bunch of incredible returning talent as well, whether you’re talking about a loaded outfield with Dane Simon and Xane Washington, a veteran behind home plate in Erick Hernandez or any of the guys out in our high-energy bullpen. We’re psyched to just see them outside of practice at this point, to put them out on the diamond and let them compete.”
WHAT: Nicholls vs. Eastern Illinois
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 20 // 1 p.m. | Saturday, Feb. 20 // 4 p.m. | Sunday, Feb. 21 // 2 p.m.
WHERE: Ben Meyer Diamond at Ray E. Didier Field | Thibodaux, La.
MEDIA: Live Stats
COMPLETE PROGRAM BREAKDOWN
Roster | Schedule | Quick Facts (PDF)
- Seth Thibodeaux currently resides in his 11th season at the helm for the Red & Gray, sporting a 266-256 (133-141 SLC) overall record with the Colonels.
- The team boasts seven seniors and two graduate students: 1B Dillon Belle, INF Alex Galy, RHP Trever Kilcrease, OF Alec Paz, RHP Peter Holland, LHP Beau Balado, RHP Colin Kramer, C Greg Anderberg and INF JD Davis.
- This year’s roster is highlighted by 23 newcomers, as graduate students C Greg Anderberg (George Washington) and INF JD David (The Citadel) along with freshman Wes Toups (LSU) joined as transfers from fellow DI institutions, sophomores LHP Josh Mancuso, C Austin Trahan, RHP Bradley Ely, INF Kyle Boudreaux, RHP Chase Gearing, 1B Grant Askins, RHP Logan Miracle, INF Austin Cain and INF Jeffrey Worley as well as redshirt freshman OF Basiel Williams climbed aboard via a JUCO program and freshmen OF Donovan Hamilton, RHP Gavin Galy, RHP Nico Saltaformaggio, LHP Luke Barbier, C Parker Serio, INF Parker Coddou, OF Garrett Urry, OF Sean Saviano, RHP Devin Desandro and INF Blaise Breerwood signed on directly from high school.
- This season’s depth chart features 19 players from across the state of Louisiana, nine out of Texas, a quartet from Florida, a pair out of Mississippi and one from each of the following: Alabama, California, Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey and Michigan.
- The Colonels are projected to finish ninth in the Southland Conference, per the league’s preseason poll.
- Nicholls returns six players from last year’s batting order (Dane Simon, Xane Washington, Alex Galy, Erick Hernandez, Dillon Belle & Alec Paz) along with three starting pitchers (Trever Kilcrease, Nick Heckman and Tyler Theriot) and three primary relievers (Joe Taylor, Peter Holland & Beau Balado).
After opening up the season with a three-game series against Eastern Illinois, the Colonels shift gears with four individual contests spread across five days, hosting Youngstown State on Feb. 26 & 28 while intermittently traveling north to Baton Rouge for a pair primetime matchups with in-state foe No. 12 LSU on Feb. 27 and Mar. 2.
For more information on Colonels Baseball, follow the team on Twitter (@Nicholls_BSB), Instagram (@geauxcolonels) and like their Facebook page (Nicholls Athletics).