In less than 48 hours, my dad and I will be in Texarkana, resting after one long day of travel. The next morning, it is on to Baton Rouge for the weekend baseball series between LSU and Tennessee.
These will be the first baseball games I have witnessed on the LSU campus since the 2005 regional at the old Alex Box Stadium. Rice won that regional, defeating the Bayou Bengals twice. However, the Owls fell short of Omaha, returning to Louisiana a few days later and losing twice to Tulane in the super regional.
I have not seen the second Alex Box Stadium, which opened in 2009. I passed by it a few times in 2010 when I was last in Louisiana, but I never got close to the stadium. Now, in its 10th season of service, I’ll finally get an up close look at the the House of Mainieri.
In the past few years, I’ve attended LSU baseball series, but always away from Baton Rouge. It was Missouri in 2013 and 2016, and last year, it was Kentucky, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This year, the only reasonably close drive for LSU’s five road series was Nashville, but there was too much going on that weekend (March 23-25) to go to Vanderbilt. Therefore, I suggested a trip to Baton Rouge, and my dad jumped on it.
Originally, we were going to go March 16-18 when LSU hosted Missouri, but events conspired to push it back.
The forecast is very dicey. It’s supposed to be warm and humid Friday–yuck–rain hard Saturday, then be very nice Sunday. It does not look like there will be a game Saturday. The question is whether the doubleheader will be Friday or Sunday.
If the doubleheader were Sunday, both games would be seven innings. The first game would probably start at noon, or 1 p.m. at the latest. One game must start at 4 p.m. since the SEC Network is televising the game. Here’s something weird: if there were a doubleheader Sunday, and the first game lasted past 3:15, it would be suspended and completed later that night, following the televised game.
The only way there can be a doubleheader Friday is if the SEC office grants a waiver, and both LSU and Tennessee agree to it. Last year, Kentucky asked for that waiver when LSU came to Lexington, and it was granted, and then Paul Mainieri gave his consent to Nick Miginone. It meant nearly eight hours of baseball and ten hours at the ballpark. If there is a doubleheader Friday, both games would be nine innings.
I didn’t think I would need long pants or long sleeves on this trip, but I’m bringing jeans and sweatshirts to be safe. The parka is staying back in Russell; last year, I wore it in Lexington.
I have slept 48 of the last 49 nights in my own bed in Russell. The exception was last Monday when I vacated to allow the work to be done in my bathroom. Next Thursday, it will be two months since I last left Kansas City. With Dawn now in Florida, with Lisa and Liz long gone from Buffalo Wild Wings, and maybe those pauses between Kansas City will become longer and longer.
All I know is it has been way too long since I’ve seen Baton Rouge. And way, way, way too long since I’ve seen certain people in that city. Hopefully the drought ends before I depart next Monday morning.