Truthfully, UL coach Matt Deggs wasn’t concerned about where the NCAA selection committee sent his Ragin’ Cajuns.

So when he saw the results of Monday’s selection show, sending UL as the No. 3 seed to the College Station regional, it wasn’t the time to dissect the committee’s reason.

He was just happy to see ‘Louisiana’ on the ESPN2 screen.

After winning the Sun Belt tournament in Montgomery, Alabama, on Sunday, UL's six-year NCAA regional drought was finally over.

“I don’t know if it’s so much about where you’re going right now as getting in,” Deggs said. “That was a hurdle we needed to clear. That hadn’t been done here since ’16 and we knew that coming in three years ago under the tough, tough circumstances that we did. Then you get hit with the pandemic.

“There was just a lot that needed to be done. To finally see it come to fruition and get a shot at redemption and to see these kids change the course and trajectory of a proud, historic program, you really can’t put into words.”

The Cajuns (36-21) will meet No. 2-seeded TCU (36-20) at 7 p.m. Friday in Game 2 of the College State regional. Host Texas A&M (37-18) will play No. 4 Oral Roberts (38-18) at 1 p.m. Friday.

“Getting into a regional is a big deal,” Deggs said. “I’ve been doing this coming up on 27, 28 years and I’ve been to 12 of them. That sounds like a good number, but they’re hard to come by. Right now, they’re harder than ever. Just ask those teams that are in the next four out.”

UL pitcher Jacob Schultz doesn’t think anyone should be surprised by UL’s return to regional play.

“This is where we expect to be,” he said. “We all expected to be here. Last year, we just fell short. This year, we punched through like we should have. It’s not so much that we’re happy to be here, we expect to be here. This is where we should be.”

Once the smoke cleared, it became pretty obvious the Cajuns have their work cut out for them.

TCU won the Big 12 regular season title, Texas A&M finished second behind No. 1 overall seed Tennessee in the SEC standings and Oral Roberts was second in the Summit League.

The Horned Frogs beat Baylor 4-2 before losing to Texas 5-3 and Oklahoma State 8-4 in Big 12 tournament. In the SEC tournament, the Aggies beat Florida 10-0 and Alabama 12-8, before losing to Florida 9-0.

Oral Roberts beat Summit regular season champion South Dakota State 9-4 and then swept Omaha 12-8, 21-2 to win the Summit tournament crown.

“I think that was kind of expected,” UL pitcher Jacob Schultz said of the College Station regional. “You see Twitter and the projections. I saw like Hattiesburg and College Station. I figured we’d go to one of those. I think Miami was one of the projections too, but I’m happy we’re going to College Station. It’s going to be fun.”

UL, meanwhile, beat No. 1 Texas State 3-2 and then No. 2 Georgia Southern 7-6 to win the Sun Belt tournament title.

“So to see these guys do what they did against the competition they did it against, that’s as good as it gets,” Deggs said. “I’m just happy for them, happy for our university, Cajun Nation and the city of Lafayette, because there’s no better baseball town or university in the country.”

Of the four teams in the College Station regional, Oral Roberts has the highest team batting average (.306), scored the most runs (438), the most doubles (111), the lowest team ERA (4.09) and lowest opponents batting average (.243).

Texas A&M has the most home runs (73).

The Cajuns have the most triples (27), most strikeouts by their pitchers (517) and the most stolen bases (134).

“We’re going to open up with TCU,” UL pitcher Austin Perrin said. “We played those guys last year. We know they’re really good. They can pitch, they can hit.

“Oral Roberts is really good. They’re a smaller name, but we know they can play. Then (probably) A&M. … We’re going to go there and play our game — bunt, steal, play fast.”

College Station Regional

Friday's Games

Game 1: Texas A&M vs. Oral Roberts, 1 p.m.

Game 2: UL vs. TCU, 7 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Game 3: Game 1 vs. Game 2 losers, TBD

Game 4: Game 1 vs. Game 2 winners, TBD

Sunday's Games

Game 5: Game 4 winners vs. Game 4 loser, TBD

Game 6: Game 4 winners vs. Game 5 winner, TBD

Monday's Game

Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, TBD (if necessary)


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.