Robichaux: There Will Be No Excuses
As speculation swirls over when renovations to M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field will be completed enough for his team to play at home, Louisiana baseball coach Tony Robichaux made one thing clear.
His team will be ready to play when the season begins.
The Cajuns released the 2017 baseball schedule yesterday and all home games were slated as TBD (To Be Determined) as far as the actual site is concerned.
In anticipation of possible delays to the opening of the new park, some adjustments to the schedule have already been made.
The Cajuns were originally scheduled to begin the season at home against Hofstra, but will instead travel to Southeastern Louisiana for a four team tournament where the Cajuns will meet Hofstra, Murray State and the host team.
In addition, Robichaux and assistant coach Anthony Babineaux, who is responsible for scheduling, have moved some of the "home and home" midweek series to begin at the opponents' home field.
This means the first of the two games with Nicholls, Northwestern State, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State and Southeastern will all begin on the road, with the return trip later in the season.
We know, as of now, the Cajuns will open with eight straight away from home.
That's a tough task for any team, even one that returns most of its pitching staff and the majority of position players from last season's team which hosted an NCAA Regional.
But Robichaux doesn't want to hear about all that.
"All good teams have to win on the road, and we are prepared to do that both physically and mentally. There will be no excuses. We know what it is, and we had time to prepare for it. We will take it on as a personal and professional challenge. You run towards a professional challenge and not away from it."
As of right now, there is no target date for the occupation of the ball park. But the knowledge of that date should be forthcoming soon. Steel is going up on the structure and once all slabs are poured and the steel completed, the contractor, Lemoine and Company, should be able to target a date for completion. Weather, of course, could be a factor.
Right now, the first scheduled home date is March 3 when the Cajuns open a three game slate against Southern Mississippi. Two other home series are scheduled for March: against St. Peter's March 10-12 and the Sun Belt opener against Appalachian State March 17-19.
In the meantime, the Cajuns are looking at possible alternate sites should the "Tigue" not be ready. Speculation includes Fabacher Field in Youngsville, along with several other ball parks in the southern part of the state.
Robichaux is counting on his veteran ball club to be mentally tough enough to handle whatever is thrown its way. And, he's already let them know failure is not an option.
We shouldn't be surprised.