There's no way to avoid it. Friday will be an emotional day for UL Baseball.
The season opener always brings feelings of butterflies and jitters. It's also the start of a new era for the Ragin' Cajuns, as Matt Deggs takes over as the head coach.
But Friday will be centered around the life and legacy of the late Tony Robichaux, who passed away over the summer. A statue will be unveiled of Coach Robe in front of Russo Park. His legendary number 36 will also be retired prior to the game.
An emotional day for all will be especially somber for the Cajuns baseball players. But for Coach Deggs, he isn't scared of the emotions having a draining effect on their play.
"I would expect them to. I've told them that," Deggs, a former assistant with Robe, explained. "The game at this juncture... we want to play our best. But, if you get lost in emotion, go for it. We all should. We're not going to run from that. We've addressed it multiple times. This is a huge weekend to unveil a statue and a number. To continue the healing process. We're talking about a legend that meant so much, to so many people, in so many ways. A baseball game's (eventually) going to break out, and were going to have a lot of fun."
First pitch for the Cajuns against Southeastern is set for 6 pm Friday. Game 2 Saturday against Louisiana Tech is set for 2 pm, while game 3 against the Bulldogs will be at 1 pm Sunday.