Lonny Landry isn’t fazed by the limited amount of time his team will have to practice together before the start of the season.
The Acadiana Cane Cutters baseball coach will only get a few days with his team before the team opens up the Texas Collegiate League season at home Thursday. Acadiana hosts the Victoria Generals at Fabacher Field in Youngsville with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.
“The team gelled right away last season,” Landry said. “A lot of the guys played together in high school or summer league ball. So it doesn’t take them long to come together.”
There is a good chance that Landry will begin the season missing several key players, as many stars could still be playing in NCAA regionals or super regionals. That scenario played out last season.
“Usually we have about 10 guys that come in late,” Landry said. “Last season, we had three guys from Ole Miss that were late because they played in the College World Series. So that means as a coach that some of the guys you brought in maybe as platoon players have to fill in for those everyday guys.”
This year’s team features players from such national programs such as Alabama and Notre Dame. But the team also has a large number of players from state schools such as McNeese State, UNO, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Northwestern State and Tulane.
In addition to the large in-state school presence, this year’s team also features a pair of local-bred stars in Scott native Chance Vincent (Alabama) and Breaux Bridge native Jevin Huval (Louisiana-Lafayette). Having recognizable names on the roster is key.
“It is big for us from a team standpoint and community standpoint,” Landry said. “Guys that have played in high school or at UL are more recognizable to fans and that makes them come out and watch.”
The Cane Cutters have made the playoffs three of the past four seasons. The Texas Collegiate League’s season is split into two halves, with the teams finishing in first and second place in the first half earning spots in the postseason. That is the immediate goal of this year’s team.
“To go ahead and win or finish second in the first half is a goal of ours,” Landry said. “If we do that, we can have some of the guys get some rest for the playoffs.”
Landry said his team is better prepared to earn another playoff berth and possibly go further due to putting together a veteran squad.
“I personally feel that offensively we are going to be stronger than in past seasons,” Landry said. “This year I made sure to get everyday starters. That experience will help. It is a grind and freshmen may not know how to manage their time as well, with conditioning and hitting the gym like upperclassmen do. Those guys know what it takes.”
The park and the team will also feature a few new attractions, with a new beer garden above the opposing team’s dugout, revamped concession stands and collectable 32- ounce plastic cups.
The club is also bringing back popular game day events such as Star Wars Night, Military Night and adding a Fiesta Night.
For ticket information, contact the team’s main office at (337) 451-6582 or visit canecuttersbaseball.com.