Southern might not be going to the Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball tournament, but the tournament could be coming to Southern.
The Jaguars have an uphill climb to qualify for the tournament that starts May 14, but the conference appears to have a steeper climb in convincing the league’s coaches to bring their teams to LaGraves Field in Fort Worth, Texas, which was the site of the 2013 SWAC tournament.
Southern athletic director William Broussard said several coaches have expressed concern with the condition of the field to SWAC officials. With less than three weeks until the tournament, the conference figures to have limited options for an alternate site.
SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp, associate commissioner Edgar Gantt and spokesman Zena Lewis did not return messages seeking comment.
LaGraves Field was built in 1926 and rebuilt in 2001. It’s the home of the Fort Worth Cats independent minor league baseball team.
Southern coach Roger Cador said poor drainage that allowed water to accumulate in the dugouts and an uneven playing surface led the league coaches to ask that the conference not return to stadium in 2014.
It’s unclear what alternate sites the SWAC would consider, but Cador said Southern would be willing to host the tournament even if it doesn’t qualify for it.
The Jaguars are last in the SWAC West with a 3-13 record. They trail Grambling for the last berth in the tournament by 3½ games. Southern has eight games left and Grambling finishes its conference schedule this weekend with three games against the Jaguars at Lee-Hines Field.
Southern has a solid track record as a host of the SWAC tournament, having hosted the 2003, 2010, 2011 and 2012 tournaments, the last of which was the last tournament hosted by a SWAC school.