Senior right-hander Matt Goebel will take the mound on Tuesday when the Green Wave travel to Baton Rouge to take on arch-rival LSU.
Feb. 26, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Fifth-year senior Matt Goebel will make his first start in over two years when the Tulane University baseball team travels to Baton Rouge to do battle with arch-rival LSU at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.
Goebel's last start came on March 16, 2004, in a 12-inning 11-10 loss to USC. Since then, however, he missed the entire 2005 season after having surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow and had an up-and-down return in 2006 when he appeared in just four games. Goebel is no stranger to the Tulane program, however, as he won eight games as a true freshman in 2003 and has 73 strikeouts in 103.0 career innings.
"Matt had surgery two years ago, last year he was coming off that surgery and did not have the same velocity that he had prior to," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "He did not have the same depth on his breaking ball again because of the lack of velocity. But now in the last three or four months, starting in the latter parts of fall baseball, his velocity is starting to get back to where it was pre-surgery and his breaking ball has a lot more depth.
"He's a fifth-year guy who is our captain and has had so much experience in our program. If he could get back to where he was, he can be a real asset on the mound. We don't expect him to go very deep in the game, but you like to have him out there."
Tuesday's game against LSU can be heard on the flagship station of Tulane baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and the game is also available on the internet to members of the All-Access Pass. Live stats will once again be provided free of charge on TulaneGreenWave.com, and the game will also be televised tape-delayed on Cox Sports Television (local Channel 37).
Tulane enters the midweek matchup with LSU 5-4 on the year and looking to bounce back from a tough series loss at USC over the weekend. As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .307 with a .427 slugging percentage courtesy of nine doubles, three triples and seven home runs. Junior shortstop Cat Everett paces the club with a .400 batting average, while junior second baseman Brad Emaus and sophomore outfielder Warren McFadden share team-high homer honors with two apiece.
From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.12 ERA and have held opponents to a .254 batting average. As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 76 strikeouts and 17 walks in 78.0 innings. Goebel has appeared in two games so far in 2007, fanning one and scattering three singles in 4.0 scoreless innings.
LSU, meanwhile, comes into the contest 73 on the season and fresh off a 2-1 series win against UCF over the weekend in Baton Rouge. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .241 with a .339 slugging percentage courtesy of 14 doubles, two triples and five home runs. Blake Dean paces LSU with a .406 batting average while Jared Mitchell and Buzzy Haydel follow with .333 and .310 averages, respectively. Dean leads the squad with 11 RBI, Mitchell heads the way with four stolen bases while five different players have each hit a home run.
From the mound, the Tigers sport a 4.40 ERA and have held opponents to a .275 batting average. As a staff, LSU hurlers combined for 77 strikeouts and 26 walks in 88.0 innings. Sophomore right-hander Louis Coleman will toe the rubber against the Green Wave and brings with him a 2-1 record, 5.52 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14.2 innings of work.
"It's still February and it's early," Jones said. "I don't think you can read a whole lot into what happens this time of year from a results standpoint. Having said that, it's two rivals and we've had some pretty good games over the past decade that meant a lot. Any time we do play, there is an emphasis on the game simply because of that. This will be no different.
"Right now, it's going to be another test for our kids. We're going into a little more hostile environment and trying to get our offense going and still stay solid in the two areas that we've done well in and that's pitching and defense."
Tuesday's ballgame marks the 290th meeting between Tulane and LSU on the diamond, and the Tigers lead the all-time series163-123-3. Under Jones, however, Tulane is 16-17 against the Tigers, including an 11-8 mark since 2001.
Following the midweek matchup at Alex Box Stadium, Tulane returns to action on Friday, March 2, when the Green Wave open a three-game series against Wright State at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.
PITCHING MATCHUP Tuesday, Feb. 27 B/T ERA W-L G/GS IP H R ER BB K TU - Matt Goebel R/R 0.00 0-0 2/0 4.0 3 0 0 0 1 LSU - Louis Coleman S/R 5.52 2-1 3/3 14.2 20 10 9 1 15