RUSTON, La (KMSS/KTAL) – It all began with a new facility, a new Love Shack. After a tornado devastated the Ruston community J.C. Love Field rose like a Phoenix from the ashes on February 26th against Southern University.
The Bulldogs were victorious that night but it was just the start of things to come.
Two weeks later Louisiana Tech baseball accomplished something they never had before. They defeated a number one team. The Arkansas Razorbacks fell in the final game of a three-game set in Ruston. The news came as a surprise to Head Coach Lane Burroughs.
“I didn’t even realize till the game was over… it was the first time in program history we’d beaten a number one team.”
But the Bulldogs weren’t done there. With another top-five win against Ole Miss and a strong start to Conference USA play, Tech inserted themselves into the conversation to host an NCAA Regional.
“I think they’re getting one,” said Ben Mintz, a blogger for Barstool Sports who covers college baseball for the site.
Mintz’s prediction gained momentum later in the year as the Bulldogs were named one of twenty Regional Finalists. Their resume improved with a Conference USA West Division Championship.
To lock up a spot as a national seed the Diamond Dogs needed to make a deep run in the Conference Tournament. They trailed Southern Miss by as many as eight runs facing elimination. Byrd alum Steele Netterville completed a comeback which would become the norm for Louisiana Tech’s postseason run as the Bulldogs won 11-10.
Tech would win another elimination game in comeback fashion later in the day to advance to the Conference title game. They came up short but the impression was made on the college baseball world. Louisiana Tech deserves a Regional.
“We had it rocking the last few days and that’s how you build a program,” said Coach Burroughs. “People show up and enjoy it and they come back.”
And come back they would, this time for the first-ever Ruston Regional. The Bulldogs were the number 16 seed. Tech fans had plenty to cheer about in game one, as the Diamond Dogs defeated Rider 18-2.
All good things must come to an end. Tech met their match against NC State, as the Wolf Pack overcame a four-run deficit to win the Ruston Regional 14-7. The 2021 Bulldogs finished with a record of 42-20. Moving forward, Coach Burroughs believes this team can be used as the blueprint for future success.
“Be that team that future teams look back and go, that’s the team that got it going…I think they did that.”