The box score from that night lists 500 people were in attendance at the game between the Nicholls Colonels and the Southern Jaguars; however if you ask anyone in tiny Thibadaux, LA they will tell you they were in the stands that faithful evening. The date was February 20th, 2013 – an evening which began like any other by banks of Bayou Lafourche, but finished like none ever will again.
The hometown Colonels had jumped out to quick 4-0 lead over the visiting Jags, but the Southern sticks began ringing. In the fourth inning an error lead to an unearned run after a weak Southern single through the right side. It was far from a devastating blow to the Colonels’ chances of winning the game, but it was an all too familiar sight on Dider Field. In twenty years of Southland Conference baseball Nicholls had yet to win a regular season title. Was this going to be another ho-hum, middle of the pack .500 season? Was the excitement and enthusiasm brought to the diamond by Coach Seth Thibodeaux, who tied the school record for the most wins by any head coach in his first two seasons unwarranted? Deflated mutterings and conjecture soon began to swell and spill onto the field.
But just when it appeared the wheels were about to break on the Thibodeaux Express, a new feeling fueled the hearts and minds of those in the stands. Something improbable, magical and sensational happened in the fifth inning.
Down the left field line a gate opened and a white shape appeared. A creature frolicked onto the field, waving and dancing his way around the infield. While the site of a yeti crashing a baseball game would normally draw fright and ire there was something different about this event. A feeling of joy and sense of pride swept through the stands. Instead of being scared of the apeish cryptid, people were charmed and entertained by him. Instead of drawing screams and terror, he instead enlisted waves and applause. Then as quickly as he came onto the field, the white yeti disappeared back into the Louisiana night, but the excitement he brought to the game didn’t fade – not by a long shot.
The Colonels’ dugout was reignited by the yeti who had a certain je ne sais quoi. All feelings of discouragement brought on by the unearned run were quickly vanquished. The Nicholls’ offense came alive and tallied two runs the next inning. In the eighth the hometown team stuck five more on the board. Nicholls would end up winning the game by an uneven score of 11-1.
The yeti has since become a fixture at Nicholls’ home baseball games. The Colonels are 4-1 when he’s been in attendance including a late come-from-behind victory over regional rival Tulane. Fans, players and coaches have embraced the yeti and he’s become as part of the game in Thibadaux as Cracker Jacks and fungo bats.
After reading about him I knew I had to interview him. I was already in the middle of an interview with J.D. Salinger when I received a tweet from the yeti (who had since been anointed the “Fifth Inning Yeti” based on the frame of his appearance in his initial sighting). I quickly made an excuse to ditch my interview with Salinger and headed to the nearest Waffle House where I could charge my phone and use their WiFi while I tweeted an interview with Nicholls new unofficial mascot.
College Baseball Lineup: I need to know more about the
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti like to talk. What do you want to learn from Yeti?
College Baseball Lineup: Where are you from? I know most yetis live in remote, cold regions, yet you’re in a warm climate. Howd you get to Louisiana?
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti come from Alaska but Yeti grew tired of the cold and polar bears. Yeti always dreamed of moving to Louisiana for Cajun fun.
College Baseball Lineup: How did you accidentally stumble into the stadium? You weren’t running from poachers were you? I’d imagine there are a number of hunters that would love to have a yeti pelt as a fireplace rug. You sure Louisiana is for you?
5th Ining Yeti: on Feb 20 Yeti accidentally walked into middle of Nicholls baseball game in 5 inning and make fans happy so Yeti keep coming back. Nicholls now 4-1 since Yeti show up and Yeti think of stay here in Thibodaux for awhile. Also, @Coach_Thib made Yeti his office pet and feeds Yeti lots of meat soup.
Yeti was running from big mosquito looking beast. And before Yeti know it, Yeti was in left field. so far no one want to hurt Yeti. People creatures have embraced Yeti and Yeti’s luck for Colonels bat and ball team.
College Baseball Lineup: I saw u were hoping 2 b on field during the anthem. Has that happened yet? Have you been asked to sing or throw 1st pitch?
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti hoping to do both. Yeti taking things slow and just learned to do cartwheel last night. Yeti scare off Tulane pitcher after.
College Baseball Lineup: Has @coach_thib talked 2 U about suiting up to play? Word is you have an R.A. Dickeyesque knuckleball that freezes batters.
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti use all his eligibility up at Alaska Anchorage in the 80′s but yes Yeti have the Dickey knuckleball in Yeti’s bag of pitch.
College Baseball Lineup: Thanks so much for answering my questions. Just a couple more if OK. I’ve just never had chance to chat with a yeti before.
5th Ining Yeti: Bring questions on for Yeti. Yeti like to talk to people creatures.
College Baseball Lineup: What kind of things so you like to do when you’re not at the diamond? From what I know about yetis you’re big into dining.
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti eat all things meat, no things green. Yeti spend most days knocking down trees and carving clubs for Colonel fall ball bats. Yeti kind of like Joe Dirt and looking for Yeti family who is said to be done here somewhere in a petting zoo.
College Baseball Lineup: If Nicholls keeps winning & makes it to Omaha will u make trip 2 College World Series? Id love to treat you 2 Nebraska steak.
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti make trip to Omaha if Nicholls make it. Yeti here Nebraska make one of best steaks. Yeti like steak very rare.
College Baseball Lineup: There’s a huge zoo here too if you’re still looking for kinfolk or a mate. I think you’d dig it.
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti been kicked out of 3 zoo’s looking for love. Yeti have to go at night.
College Baseball Lineup: Has the team embraced you like the fans have! Do you have a favorite player or coach?
5th Ining Yeti: Team has embraced Yeti 100%. Favorite player of Yeti is @BigSuk_33 because he big and scary like Yeti. Not as hairy though.
College Baseball Lineup: Are there any teams you’re looking forward to playing against the Colonels this season?
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti look forward to every Colonel bat and ball game but really look forward to beating UL-Lafayette tonight and LSU Sunday.
College Baseball Lineup: That’s all I’ve got 4 now. I appreciate your time. If u ever want 2 write an article or column for the site let me know.
5th Ining Yeti: Yeti would like that. Yeti look forward to seeing our interview on your site soon.