March 20, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, the Tulane baseball team will return to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium for a three-game series against new Conference USA opponent Middle Tennessee.
All three games will be broadcast on the home of Green Wave baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH. Fans can also follow live stats on GameTracker at TulaneGreenWave.com for the series.
The Green Wave are in the middle of their lone five-game week of the season, and it hasn't gone as planned so far. Tulane dropped a contest to Southeastern Louisiana at home on Tuesday, 6-3, before heading across town to play New Orleans on Wednesday. In that contest, Tulane was no-hit through 7.2 innings before putting a few hits and runs on the board to make the final score 7-3 when it was all said and done.
Last weekend, the Green Wave were in Greenville, N.C., where they took the first game of a three-game series at East Carolina against their top pitcher, Jeff Hoffman. Unfortunately, Tulane dropped both ends of a doubleheader the following day.
Overall, Tulane is 10-10, and they are 3-3 in C-USA.
The Blue Raiders are coming into the series with an 8-11 record and are 4-2 in C-USA. Last weekend, Middle Tennessee swept Charlotte in a weekend series. They are coming off a loss to Lipscomb on Tuesday.
Only two Green Wave batters are currently maintaining a .300 batting average or better, as sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon is pacing the team with a .338 average. Freshman third baseman Hunter Hope is hitting .313, and is second on the team with 16 RBI. Junior second baseman Garrett Deschamp's batting average has slipped to .278, but he still leads the league in RBI with 23. Senior outfielder Andrew Garner, who had a two-out, three-RBI triple on Wednesday, is hitting .290 with a team-leading three home runs and 13 RBI.
Middle Tennessee is hitting .254 as a squad, and are led by Austin Bryant's .393. Trent Miller is hot on Bryant's heels with a .384 average, and his 16 RBI lead the team. Ryan Stephens leads the team with four home runs, but is only hitting .221. Jared Allen has three home runs to his name, as well.
On the mound on Friday night for the Green Wave will be redshirt senior Tyler Mapes. The righty earned his third win of the season last weekend at East Carolina when he struck out two over 5.0 innings at East Carolina. He was inserted into the weekend rotation the weekend prior at Cal. On the season, Mapes is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 13 strikeouts to just two walks in 19.2 innings.
Opposite Mapes will be Zac Curtis, a senior southpaw. Curtis has made five starts, posting 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. He has a 2-0 record with a 3.90 ERA.
On Saturday, Tulane will send redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc to the bump to face the Blue Raiders. LeBlanc had arguably his best outing last weekend in a losing effort, as he pitched 7.0 innings, striking out five before leaving the game with the lead. On the year, the Abita Springs, La., native is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA, striking out 26 and walking seven. LeBlanc leads the team with five starts.
Middle Tennessee will throw redshirt senior righty Paul Mittura against LeBlanc. Mittura is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 18.2 innings. He has made just one start on the year, and he has seven strikeouts and three walks on his resume.
Tulane has not named a starter for Sunday's contest, but Middle Tennessee will pitch another lefty in junior Johnathan Frebis. In five starts, Frebis owns a 1-3 record while notching a 4.21 ERA. He has walked 11 and struckout 18 in 25.2 innings.
The two teams have only squared off against one another on two occasions, both on the same day. On March 10, 1975, the team's split a doubleheader with each team winning 2-0.
With one victory in the series for the Green Wave, they will eclipse the 300-win mark in Conference USA play all-time.
All weekend long, fans can donate a bag of Mardi Gras beads and receive a ticket voucher for a future Green Wave baseball game, excluding the March 25 contest against LSU. On Saturday, March 22, it will be Father/Son Day at the ballpark, where fans can buy one adult ticket and get one youth ticket free.
On Sunday, March 23, the `National Anthem Girl' will be at the ballpark to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Janine Stange is attempting to sing the National Anthem in all 50 states, and currently has 31 states to go. It will also be Academy Sports Kids Day on Sunday, where kids can stand next to their favorite players during the National Anthem while also running the bases postgame.
Lastly, the Green Wave baseball team will shave their heads after Sunday's contest to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer through the Vs. Cancer Foundation. Fans can donate to the organization inside of the stadium up to the third inning during all three games this weekend.
For more information on the Vs. Cancer Foundation, and how you can help the effort of founder Chase Jones on making a difference in the lives of pediatric cancer patients, please visit www.vs-cancer.org. To make a donation to Tulane's team page for the Vs. Cancer Foundation, please visit tulane.vs-cancer.org. At that page, one can make a donation to the team as a whole, or one's donation can be credited directly to the fundraising page of any of the Green Wave baseball players' pages.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.