April 1, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - After returning home from their first Conference USA road weekend series of the 2013 season, Tulane's baseball program will host in-state foe Nicholls State at 6:30pm CT at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Tuesday's game will mark the second time the two squads have played each other this season. Tulane travelled to Thibodaux, La., on Feb. 26, where they lost to the Colonels, 5-3. That game marked the first visit to Ray E. Didier Field in Thibodaux by the Greenies since 2007.
"Nicholls State played great against us during the last game," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "I don't expect anything else from them, so we will have to try and match it."
Tulane is coming off a weekend where they travelled to Houston to play Rice in a three-game series. Despite losing the first two games of the season, the Green Wave was in each game until the very last at-bat, losing 4-2 on Thursday and 6-3 on Friday. During Friday's game, Tulane loaded the bases in the top of the ninth with two outs before Rice was able to secure the victory. During the series finale, Tulane defeated Rice, 7-6, behind senior Brandon Boudreaux's 2-for-4 day at the plate. Senior David Napoli pitched seven solid innings during the contest, becoming the first pitcher in Tulane history to record two wins against Rice.
Nicholls State was swept by Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana last weekend, dropping three straight games after defeating New Orleans, 14-4, last week. The Colonels are 14-15 on the year, and 1-5 in their conference. The weekend prior to the Southeastern Louisiana series, they lost two of three games to Stephen F. Austin.
During Tuesday's contest, Green Wave freshman pitcher Daniel Rankin will take the mound for the start of the game. Rankin has made only one other start this season, and earned his only win against Northwestern State by pitching 4.0 innings out of the bullpen. In 21.0 innings on the season, Rankin has recorded seven strikeouts while walking 10. The Katy, Texas, native has allowed 17 hits, and has posted a 3.43 ERA. Nicholls State will counter Rankin with a freshman of their own in left-hander Grant Borne. In 22.2 innings this season, Borne has a 2.78 ERA, while striking out 27 and walking only 14. He has made four starts and three appearances out of the bullpen on the year.
On the season, the Greenies own a record of 15-15 overall and 3-3 in conference play. As a team, Tulane is hitting .246, and they continue to be led at the plate by senior Brennan Middleton and his .342 batting average. Senior Sean Potkay added to his RBI total over the weekend, and now owns a team-leading 21 on the year to go along with his .277 batting average. Junior Bowen Woodson holds a .267 batting average, and Boudreaux has upped his batting average by nearly sixty points during the last three weeks, hitting now at .262.
Nicholls State owns a team batting average of .282 led by Matt Richard's .331 average. Philip Lyons hits at a clip of .324, while Keith Cormier (.323) and Tyler Duplantis (.313) round out the Colonels top hitters. Cody Dufrene leads the team with 23 RBIs, and Cormier's 20 RBIs are good for second on the team. Richard and Lyons are tied at third on the squad with 18 RBIs a piece.
Jones is 34-7 against the Colonels during his 20 year tenure at Tulane. Prior to the loss Tulane suffered at the hands of the Colonels earlier this year, the Green Wave had rattled off 17 straight wins in the series, losing last in 2000 by a score of 9-8.
Seth Thibodeaux skippers the Nicholls State squad, and he is in his third year with the program.
The two teams will meet again at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on May 7.
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