Baseball Looks to Get Back on Track in Weekend Series Against UTSA

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Junior Garrett Deschamp leads the team in RBI with 24
Junior Garrett Deschamp leads the team in RBI with 24

April 3, 2014

NotesVsUTSAGet Acrobat Reader

NEW ORLEANS - Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Tulane baseball squad will welcome Conference USA opponent UTSA into Greer Field at Turchin Stadium this weekend for a three-game series, including a doubleheader on Friday as opposed to the pre-announced Saturday doubleheader.

The two teams will square off in a 10am CT doubleheader on Friday, with game two set to follow 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, because of weather issues that are now threatening the Greater New Orleans area on Saturday evening. On Saturday, the two teams are tentatively scheduled to return to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, looking to squeeze in the third game at 10am CT. The time for that contest could change, as the two programs will make a final decision after Friday's doubleheader.

All three games will be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH, and live audio and video will be made available through the All-Access Pass on TulaneGreenWave.com. Live stats can be followed through the GameTracker links on the baseball schedule page at TulaneGreenWave.com.

Tickets for the games will be $5. For more information on tickets, call 504-861-WAVE (9283), or visit the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center's first-floor ticket office.

Due to Yulman Stadium construction the handicap parking spots in front of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center are no longer available. Parking will be available in both the Rosen Lot and Diboll Parking Garage for fans. Fans are permitted to drop off individuals needing assistance near the Turchin Stadium prior to parking in either the Rosen Lot of Diboll Parking Garage.

The Green Wave suffered a 16-0 defeat at the hands of the No. 2 nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday in Lafayette. In that contest, the Ragin' Cajuns totaled 22 hits - including three triples and two home runs - while the Green Wave bats mustered just three hits, two of which came off the bat of freshman second baseman Jake Willsey. All three of those hits, however, were erased by double play balls.

Prior to the loss on Tuesday, the Green Wave dropped two one-run contests to Marshall in Charleston, W. Va., including a suspended, rain-shortened game that went just seven innings. The third game of the series was lost due to weather.

On the season now, Tulane sits at 13-14 overall with a C-USA record of 5-6.

The Roadrunners of UTSA are also coming off a midweek loss, as they dropped a contest to Texas State by a score of 7-6 on Tuesday in San Marcos, Texas. Prior to that, however, the Roadrunners swept C-USA opponent Louisiana Tech. On the year, UTSA is 19-10 overall with a C-USA record of 6-3.

In the league standings, Tulane is tied for ninth with Marshall, while UTSA owns a tie with three other schools for second place.

Tulane's team batting average has dipped to .229 after the loss to ULL on Tuesday. Sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon retook the top batting average by an everyday starter with a .306 clip. Willsey, however, is batting .327, but does not have enough at-bats to qualify for the team-lead (2.5 at-bats per team game). Freshman hot corner Hunter Hope remains above .300 with a .305 average. Carthon is still the team leader with 20 runs scored, and junior first baseman Garrett Deschamp still paces the team with 24 RBI. Hope and senior outfielder Andrew Garner are tied for second on the team with 17 RBI.

UTSA enters the weekend with a .285 team batting average, as six of their everyday starters own batting averages above .300. RJ Perucki leads the Roadrunners with a .342 average, but Mike Warren is close behind him with a .336 average. Warren also leads the squad in RBI with 31. Jesse Baker, who is hitting .306, owns the team-high in home runs with four.

On Friday night, Tulane will send redshirt senior righty Tyler Mapes to the mound. Mapes has had an outstanding season to date, but unfortunately saw an 8.0-inning, eight-strikeout performance against Marshall last Friday erased by a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth. Mapes notched eight strikeouts the week before against Middle Tennessee. On the season, the Plano, Texas, native owns a team-best 4-0 record with a 1.30 ERA - tops among Tulane starters - and 29 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

UTSA will counter Mapes with sophomore righty Brock Hartson. Last weekend against Louisiana Tech, Hartson got a no-decision in a 3-2 win after allowing seven hits and one run over 6.0 innings. This season, he owns a 1-1 record with a 2.59 ERA in seven starts. Opponents are hitting .294 off him, and he has 41 strikeouts and 17 walks in 41.2 innings of work.

The first game on Saturday will see redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc pitch for the Green Wave, while UTSA will send southpaw sophomore Nolan Trabanino to the bump.

LeBlanc undeservedly picked up the loss in the suspended, rain-shortened game last weekend at Marshall despite fanning five over 7.0 innings of work. The Abita Springs, La., native has had a solid season, though, as he owns a 2.59 ERA and a 2-2 record in a team-high 41.2 innings of work. LeBlanc has posted 34 strikeouts to lead all starters while walking nine.

Trabanino was backed offensively in a 10-1 win last weekend, as he went 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits and walking two while striking out just one against Louisiana Tech. On the year, Trabanino is much more impressive, as he owns a 1.28 ERA with a 5-0 record in 42.1 innings of work. He has fanned 21 and walked seven on the season.

Neither team has set a starting pitcher for the third game.

Last year, the Roadrunners visited Greer Field at Turchin Stadium as a non-conference opponent, taking the first game of the series, 3-2, with all three of UTSA's runs coming in the third frame. However, Tulane turned it around and won the final two games of the series, 2-1 and 8-3, respectively. The three meetings last season were the first meetings between the two programs.

Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.