March 31, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - For the second time in a week, Tulane will play an in-state rival ranked in the top five in most major polls as the Green Wave will head to Lafayette, La., to play the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field on Tuesday evening at 6pm CT.
The game will be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH. Fans can watch the game online at ESPN3. The link to watch the game can be found on the baseball schedule page at TulaneGreenWave.com. Live stats can also be followed at TulaneGreenWave.com.
Last Tuesday, the Green Wave took down top-five team LSU at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 11th inning. This past weekend, however, was a different story, as the Green Wave had the tables turned on them last Friday at Marshall in Charleston, W. Va. After leading from the third inning on, the Green Wave bullpen couldn't hold onto a lead as the Thundering Herd slapped a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to win 3-2. The following day, Marshall took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh just as the tarps were pulled on the field because of rain. The game was supposed to have been completed Sunday morning, but due to the inclement weather, the game went final, and Tulane and Marshall did not play a third game of the series.
Earlier this season, Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette met at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, with the game going to the Ragin' Cajuns, 7-4, on March 12. Tulane led 4-3 after the bottom of the third, but ULL scored four unanswered runs in the next two innings combined for the win.
On the year, Tulane now sits at 13-13 overall.
Louisiana-Lafayette is coming off a weekend series win over conference foe Western Kentucky. After dropping the first game to the Hilltoppers 14-3 on Friday, the Ragin' Cajuns came back and won 10-9 and 7-4 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Louisiana-Lafayette enters Tuesday's contest with a 26-3 overall record. They are ranked No. 2 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Poll and No. 4 in the latest Baseball America poll.
After the Marshall series, Tulane is now hitting .233 as a team. Freshman third baseman Hunter Hope has taken the lead as the team's top hitter, as he is now batting .314. He, along with junior first baseman Garrett Deschamp and senior outfielder Andrew Garner, is tied for the team lead with eight doubles. Sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon is hitting .305 and leads the team with 20 runs scored. Deschamp is seven points under the .300 line, and freshman second baseman Jake Willsey is hitting .298 now.
Deschamp leads the squad with 24 RBI.
The Ragin' Cajuns have raised their batting average by nearly 40 points since the two teams last met, as they are now batting .310. Seven of their everyday starters are hitting over .300, and are led by Seth Harrison's .352 average and Jace Conrad's .349 average. As a team, Louisiana-Lafayette has belted 34 home runs with 11 of their players with at least one. Harrison also leads the team in bombs with seven.
Louisiana-Lafayette has also been a terror on the basepaths, as they own 48 stolen bases in 66 attempts. Conrad leads the team with 11 base swipes, while Ryan Leonards has ten to his name.
Tulane will send freshman righty Corey Merrill to the hill to face the Ragin' Cajuns, and the team will most likely use multiple pitchers against the Ragin' Cajuns like they did when the team faced LSU. Merrill started against the Tigers last week and pitched well in just 2.0 innings of action, allowing just one hit.
Merrill started against ULL the last time the two teams met, and he allowed four hits and three runs across 3.0 innings. He also struck out two and walked one.
On the season, Merrill has a 0-1 record with a 5.06 ERA in six appearances (four starts) and 16.0 innings of work. The Lutcher product has 10 strikeouts and 10 walks while giving up 16 hits.
Louisiana-Lafayette has yet to name a starter for the contest. During the March 12 contest, ULL started Cody Boutte, who went 2.0 innings while striking out three and allowing three hits. Like Tulane, they used a plethora of pitchers throughout the remainder of the contest, as five more Ragin' Cajuns made appearances on the mound that night.
Last season, Tulane traveled to Lafayette, La., for the first time since the 2003 season, picking up a 7-5 win over a team that eventually made an NCAA Regional.
Tulane still owns the all-time series record that now stands at 43-41.
Following Tuesday's contest, the Green Wave will return to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium to host new Conference USA opponent UTSA. The Roadrunners came to New Orleans last year as a non-conference opponent, and the Green Wave took two of the three games in that series.
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