HAMMOND, La. — The Southland Conference Baseball Tournament returns to Hammond for the first time since 2004.
“When it came time to bid, I got with Coach (Matt) Riser, and we talked about it. I was going to do whatever we had to do to get that thing here,” says Southeastern Athletic Director Jay Artigues.
“We talk about the economic standpoint as far as the impact that it makes in or community but also competitively. Our kids get to sleep in their own beds. We’re going to have a home-field advantage. I promise that when we’re playing, it’s going to be sold out and packed. We play in that championship game on our own campus, that’s a special experience,” added Artigues.
Southeastern has led the conference in per-game attendance for 6 years straight.
Top 2 in total and average attendance since 2007.
Southeastern Athletic Director Jay Artigues says creating that experience has been a years-long process.
“I remember when I got here 16 years ago, it wasn’t where it was now. Heck after games, me and the players were picking up trash and doing the little things and now to see where it has evolved to one of the top atmospheres in the country, it’s incredible,” says Artigues.
Something the baseball team can lean on at an opportune time.
The Lions are riding a 4-game losing streak heading into their final series with Houston Baptist this week.
“Coming back from a rough week being on the road to knowing that now we are going to be at home all the way until we get to regionals, is obviously a really good point for us. Our guys know we’re out of school. We get to be professional baseball players for the next couple of weeks where it’s just about baseball, so all of their interactions are field related, and we can do it here at home field,” says Southeastern Head Baseball Coach Matt Riser.
Baseball is a momentum sport and Southeastern is 17-5 this season at the Pat.
With 6 potential home games separating them from their first conference title since 2015, head coach Matt Riser says his team won’t embrace any added pressure.
Only the experience.
“They know the expectation. They were recruited to this program with the expectation of championships, and they said yes to this program knowing that expectation and knowing day in and day out that’s what you live,” says Riser.
The Southland Conference Baseball Tournament commences Wednesday, May 26th and runs through Saturday the 29th.