April 15, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Before heading into the first bye weekend of the Rick Jones era, the Tulane baseball team will travel to Monroe, La., to play the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at noon on Tuesday before returning home to face New Orleans on Wednesday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Tuesday's noon start will be broadcast on 106.1 The Ticket, while the 6:30pm CT start on Wednesday will be broadcast on 88.3 FM WRBH.
Tulane is coming off a weekend where they played 34 innings of baseball, including the first back-to-back inning games since 2009 when they played East Carolina this weekend. The Green Wave dropped the 13 inning match on Friday by a score of 3-2 before tying the series on Saturday with a 5-4 in 12 innings. Sunday's contest saw blue skies after a very rainy morning, but the Greenies went down 4-2 despite a career-high tying eight strikeouts from senior southpaw David Napoli. Tulane is now 18-20 on the season, and 5-7 in Conference USA.
This weekend, the Green Wave will have their first bye weekend under Rick Jones. Instead of playing a non-conference opponent during Conference USA play, Jones opted to play more midweek games this season, hence the back-to-back games against ULM and UNO.
"You want to win (the two games)," said Jones. "As I said to our club, you want to do whatever you can to win them. Obviously UNO, they play gang-busters against us. Both times they've played us, they've played lights out. We went to UL-Monroe last year, and they thumped us. It'll be an interesting trip for us. We'll see how we respond, and then come back and play UNO Wednesday night. Let's see what happens for us in the week that we're off."
Tulane has played UNO twice this season, winning on February 27 by a score of 5-3 and dropping a 5-4 game to the Privateers on March 19. The winner of the contest will take home the First NBC Cup, which is given to the winner of the Tulane/UNO annual series.
The Warhawks are 14-22 on the year, including a 4-11 record in the Sun Belt. They lost two of three games this past weekend against Florida International. The week prior to that, they defeated a nationally-ranked Florida Atlantic team two out of three contests. As a team, ULM is batting .235, and are led by Corben Green's .303 average. Green has also notched four home runs to go along with 17 RBIs.
UNO is batting .236 on the year and are led by Jonathan Coco, who is batting .291. The Privateers - who are playing an Independent Division I schedule - are 5-31. This past weekend, UNO lost both ends of a doubleheader to Georgia State on Saturday before winning their fifth contest of the year against them on Sunday.
The Greenies are batting .234 on the year, following a weekend in which the ECU Pirates held Tulane to only three hits during Friday's 13 inning contest. Senior Brennan Middleton still paces the squad with a batting average of .312. Senior Garrett Cannizaro batted .294 over the last week, adding three RBIs - one of which was the game-winner in Saturday's 12 inning game. Senior Tucker Oakley got some key at-bats in Saturday's game as a defensive replacement, and again during Sunday's game when he started at designated hitter. For the week, Oakley batted .429. Senior Sean Potkay is second on the team with a .264 batting average, and he is tied with Cannizaro for the team lead in home runs with two.
On Tuesday, Tulane will send redshirt sophomore right-hander Randy LeBlanc to the mound, one week to the day after he pitched his best game of the year against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Abita Springs, La., native pitched 6.0 innings for his first career win of the season, striking out four and allowing only three hits. On the season, LeBlanc is 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA in 25.1 innings. The Warhawks will counter LeBlanc with senior righty Devon Malone. In ten appearances on the season, Malone has not started a contest. He has thrown 14.1 innings, striking out 14 and walking 10. He owns an ERA of 4.40.
The Green Wave has yet to name a starter for Wednesday's match up, but Jones said that there is a possibility that senior Andrew Reeves could make his season debut at some point during the contest. The Privateers will send righty Stephen Potter to the mound. Potter started the March 19 game against the Green Wave, tossing only one inning. On the season, Potter is 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA in 5.2 innings.
Jones is 3-3 against the Warhawks during his tenure as the coach of the Green Wave, and he holds a 39-25 record against the Privateers.
ULM is led by Jeff Schexnaider, who is in his seventh season leading the Warhawks. Bruce Peddie is the skipper of the Privateers.
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