THE YEAR THAT WAS
The 2006 Green Wave went through a season like no other in the history of college athletics in having to overcome the adversity of Hurricane Katrina, which included relocating to Lubbock, Texas, and the campus of Texas Tech for the fall semester and having to play all of its games away from campus at nearby Zephyr Field due to damage and construction delays to Turchin Stadium.
In the end, the Green Wave posted a 43-21 overall record, earned a spot in the NCAA Regionals for the ninth consecutive season and advanced to the Regional championship game for the third consecutive year.
IT'S NOT HOW YOU START...
Fielding one of the youngest teams in Rick Jones' 13 years at the helm of the Tulane program, the Green Wave got off to a bit of a rough start in 2006.
With a team fielding just one senior and one junior among its position players and one senior on the mound early on, the Green Wave did not exactly stumble out of the blocks, but started 20-14.
During that time, Tulane hit .281 (318-for-1136) with a .391 slugging percentage on the strength of 56 doubles, six triples and 19 home runs. In addition, Tulane's offense averaged 6.09 runs per game over the first 34 games of the 2006 season.
...IT'S HOW YOU FINISH
Following a 2-1 series loss at Houston on April 7-9, the "green" Green Wave matured, gelled and turned things around as Tulane won 23 of its final 30 ballgames.
During that stretch, the Green wave posted winning streaks of eight and 10 games. Tulane won its final six weekend series, including sweeps of Stephen F. Austin, Marshall and No. 22 Southern Miss.
Following a 7-4 win over Nicholls State on April 11, the Green Wave hit .303 (308-for-1017) with a .454 slugging percentage courtesy of 57 doubles, five triples and 29 homers. During that time, the Green Wave averaged 7.03 runs per game.
TIES TO TEXAS TECH
Tulane and Texas Tech will be forever bound by the fall 2005 semester. Following Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused, members of the Green Wave baseball and women's basketball teams were relocated to Lubbock, Texas, where they essentially became Tech students for the semester.
Outside of a few scheduling conflicts, Tulane had full use of Texas Tech's playing, workout and student-service facilities.
After Tulane returned to its uptown New Orleans campus in January, Texas Tech's generosity kicked in again as the Red Raiders announced they would donate a portion of the proceeds it raised based on Tech's home run count in 2006 to the Green Wave Athletic Department.
The Green Wave had a chance to show their appreciation in public as Tulane and Texas Tech played each other in day two of the Houston College Classic at Minute Main Park. Prior to first pitch, a special ceremony was held as the teams reunited for the first time since the fall semester.
REGIONAL STREAK CONTINUES
By earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Oxford Regional, Tulane joined some elite company in qualifying for its ninth consecutive NCAA postseason.
With the at-large bid in 2006, Tulane joins Cal State Fullerton, Clemson, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Oral Roberts, Rice and Stanford as teams to have made at least nine consecutive NCAA's.
Prior to its current streak, the longest postseason run for Tulane was three as the Green Wave advanced to the Regionals from 1986-88.
MORGAN HITS CENTURY K MARK
Sophomore right-hander Sean Morgan accomplished a pitching feat for an underclassman that had not happened at Tulane since in 11 seasons as he eclipsed the century mark in strikeouts.
With a team-best 125 strikeouts, Morgan became the first sophomore to post 100-plus Ks since then-sophomore southpaw Jason Navarro fanned 110 in 1996. His punchout total was the also the most by a Tulane underclassman since then-sophomores Mike Romano and Ivan Zweig posted 174 and 126 K totals, respectively, in 1992.
TULANE & THE 40-WIN PLATEAU
With a strong finish, Tulane completed the 2006 season 43-21 to post its fourth consecutive 40-win year.
The Green Wave claimed its 10th season with 40-plus wins in 13 seasons under the direction of head coach Rick Jones. Under Jones' tutelage, Tulane hit the 40-win mark in 1994, 1996-99 and 2000-06.
It also marked Tulane's 15th 40-win season in school history (dating back to 1893) as Jones' predecessor Joe Brockhoff posted 40-win seasons from 1982-84 and 1986-87.
He broke the former Tulane career mark of 28 set by Joey Charron in April 25's 11-8 win over Northwestern State, and eclipsed the Conference USA record of 30 held by USF's Joey Livingston (2001-04) by retiring three of the four batters he faced in a 2-1 win over Southern Miss on May 12.
Latham enters the 2007 season just 16 saves away from the NCAA career mark of 49 set by USC's Jack Krawczyk from 1995-98.
GETTING IT DONE ON `D'
Another constant for the Green Wave in 2006 was their play on defense where Tulane posted a sparkling .978 fielding percentage.
The Green Wave's defensive mark led Conference USA and ranked third in the nation among NCAA Division I programs.
The .978 fielding percentage ranks second in school history, trailing just the .981 mark established by the 1982 club.
JONES CLAIMS MILESTONE VICTORIES
Tulane head coach Rick Jones reached pair of milestone victories during the 2006 season as the Green Wave's 6-4 comeback win over Texas Tech on Feb. 11 was the 800th of his career while a 5-3 victory over McNeese State on Feb. 14 gave Jones win No. 700 at the Division I level.
At the conclusion of his 21st season as a head coach, Jones is 839-258-1, including a 740-319-1 mark as a head coach at a four-year school. His 566-258-1 mark in 13 seasons with the Green Wave is just 75 wins shy of the Tulane career record of 641 set by Joe Brockhoff from 1975-93.
FEELING A DRAFT
A trio of Green Wave players were selected to join the ranks of the professionals at the conclusion of the 2006 season as Mark Hamilton, Billy Mohl and Nathan Southard were drafted by Major League teams.
Hamilton was a supplemental second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals (76th overall) and Southard joined the Cards 15 rounds later (526th overall). Mohl, however, was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 25th round (757th overall).
Tulane has had at least one player drafted every season since 1996 and has had at least one get picked in all but eight drafts since the modern draft began in 1965.
PUTTING `STUDENT' IN STUDENT-ATHLETE
For three years, junior first baseman Mark Hamilton was the quintessential student-athlete: carrying the Green Wave both at the plate and in the field, as well as maintaining a high grade point average in the classroom.
Hamilton was formally recognized for his accomplishments as the Bellaire, Texas, native was named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI University Division Baseball Team.
Hamilton received the honor after posting a career 3.26 GPA in cell and molecular biology. He is the third baseball player to earn first-team Academic All-District honors in the last five years, joining James Jurries in 2002 and Tommy Manzella n 2005.