It's been a couple weeks since he pitched on a Friday, but make no mistake about it, Nathan Bannister is still the anchor starting pitcher for the Arizona Wildcats rotation.
No Wildcats have had any reason to experience playing in a place like Louisiana before this weekend. But having been to Hawaii this past weekend will at least offer some parallels for Arizona.
"It was muggy, raining off and on and playing on turf. That's a good setup for us going to Lafayette," Bannister explained. "For me, I spent Saturday just getting used to it. I didn't wear sleeves like I do normally to calm the sweating. I feel like I'm well prepared for this weekend and our whole staff is."
In Lafayette this weekend, Arizona will be playing on an artificial surface again. And the temperature is supposed to be in the 80's with scattered thunderstorms plus a humidity above 70%.
Yep, sounds like Hawaii.
For what it's worth, Bannister allowed just five hits and one earned run in seven innings against the Rainbow Warriors.
It also allowed the Wildcats to finish the regular season on a six-game winning streak, and a long road trip to come together before the games have exponentially more meaning.
"Just more team chemistry," he added. "Going away to an island like that with your team is always great."
Bannister sports a 9-2 record this year, using a 2.72 ERA to get there. His .201 opponent's batting average is the best among Arizona pitchers that have pitched at least 15 innings this year. Those numbers won't necessarily guarantee a start in game one against Sam Houston State because of matchups the coaching staff might discover, but whenever he does get the nod, it will certainly give Arizona the advantage over whoever they're facing.
And with a week of pitching in the conditions under his belt, that'll do nothing but help Bannister be his dominant self.