SLC woes call for Demons to ‘stay consistent’


Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

NSU recorded their first Southland Conference series sweep of the season at home against Texas A&M Corpus Christi back in early April.

One of the most difficult milestones to reach in any college program is capturing wins against teams in their own backyard. It’s even harder to come back from a slump if a team isn’t able to compete at a high level.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s baseball squad held tight to the top region of the conference standings early on in the season but ranked sixth in the Southland Conference (SLC) rankings as of April 18. The Demons currently sit at 17-18 overall and 6-6 against SLC opponents in the 2022 season.

The intensity settled in for NSU after completing a series win over Stephen F. Austin State University to kick off the season, a series sweep over Alcorn State University at home and a series win over University of New Orleans. NSU recorded their first SLC series sweep of the season at home against Texas A&M Corpus Christi back in early April.

Since then, the University of Incarnate Word defeated the Demons in a series sweep, followed by two losses in three games against Nicholls State University.

“The struggles we’ve had so far are the roller coaster performances,” Demons third baseman and utility player Bryce Holmes said. “We have to stay consistent.”

Holmes said one quality about this NSU team that stands out to him is the ability to move on from negativity. Putting the scoreboard aside, Holmes said this team is outstanding at putting the past in the past.

Nonetheless, the Demons are one of three teams that are at or above 500 percent in conference play. Most of their wins this season are from home games, something NSU will see more of in the upcoming weeks.

Houston Baptist University will play NSU from April 22 through April 24 in a three-game Southland Conference series, followed by another three-game SLC series against Southeastern Louisiana University on April 29 through May 1. The Demons are currently 13-4 in games at Brown-Stroud Field.

“It’s good to be home,” Demons Head Coach Bobby Barbier said. “It’s good to have three games where we know the park, can sleep in our own beds and our routine’s better. I’m excited. The boys are excited to be back in front of our fans.”

One of the great things about being back at home is the welcoming atmosphere at Brown-Stroud Field. Whether fans are in the seats behind home plate or by the Cooking Club near the Demons dugout, NSU home baseball games are exciting to be a part of.

There is no denying the energy this team brings to every game. Within this baseball squad lies a great brotherhood that stands any adversity thrown their way.

“The biggest thing that stands out to me from the day I got here was the brotherhood we have created,” Demons Catcher Bo Willis said. “I have not been on a team yet that has gotten along as well as this one has. We all struggle together and we all succeed together and that further builds our relationships.”

The difference between a good program and a great one is the ability to bounce back from adversity and create a well-oiled machine as the season goes on. What NSU has accomplished in the past few seasons is a winning atmosphere that leads to individual success as well as team success.

“We had a great week of practice and a productive Tuesday midweek, focusing on smaller details of the game on both sides of the ball,” Holmes said. “I feel this will bring positive momentum into the weekend against HBU, allowing us to play more freely and be more confident.”

Click here for NSU’s complete 2022 baseball schedule.