May 6, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - On Tuesday, Tulane's baseball program will play in their final regular season midweek contest as they welcome in-state rival Nicholls State to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium for a 6:30pm CT first pitch.
The game can be heard on 88.3 FM, and live stats will be made available on TulaneGreenWave.com.
Tulane played a hard-fought series against the Houston Cougars this past weekend, getting a win on Saturday in between two one-run losses on both Friday and Saturday. Despite losing the series, the Green Wave swung the bats well, outhitting the Cougars .291 to .253. Juniors Andrew Garner and Nick DiMaggio are carrying eight and seven game hitting streaks, respectively, into the contest against Nicholls State. On the season, the Greenies sit at 24-24 with a Conference USA record of 8-10, good for seventh place in the league.
Nicholls State has defeated the Green Wave twice already this season, once in Thibodaux, La., on Feb. 26 and again at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on April 2. The Colonels have lost five of their last six games, dropping three straight to Sam Houston State and dropping the first and last games of a three-game series to Oral Roberts. The Colonels will come to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium bearing a 23-25 record.
Tuesday will see a return to the mound for redshirt sophomore Randy LeBlanc, who has been nothing short of spectacular during his last four starts, all against Louisiana teams. Last Wednesday, the Abita Springs, La., native pitched his longest outing of the season, going 7.2 innings while striking out five and walking none in a 3-1 win over New Orleans. During the season, LeBlanc is 3-3 with a 4.96 ERA in 45.1 innings of action. He has recorded 24 strikeouts on the year.
Despite getting the start on Tuesday, LeBlanc may not go deep in the contest as the Green Wave will look to preserve their pitching staff for their weekend series against UCF after learning that usual Friday night starter Tony Rizzotti will not pitch in his normal spot due to a back injury he sustained during his last outing. The Greenies may resort to using LeBlanc on Sunday in relief, so Colonel hitters may see the likes of juniors Kyle McKenzie and Brady Wilson as well as senior Andrew Reeves during short spurts on the mound Tuesday night.
Nicholls State has yet to name a starter for the contest.
The Green Wave have upped their batting average a few points, thanks in part to the solid weekend at the plate against Houston. Senior Brennan Middleton continues to lead the team in hitting, as he is batting .290 on the year. However, Garner's hot streak has raised his average up to .271, while senior Sean Potkay is hitting .269. The aforementioned DiMaggio - who made starts in right field and at designated hitter during the last two weeks - is batting .293 in 41 at-bats this year.
The Colonels are hitting .272 as a team, and are led by Tyler Duplantis' .315 average. Both Matt Richard and Keith Cormier are hitting over .300, as they boast averages of .315 and .308, respectively. Cormier shares the lead in home runs on the team - along with Mike Barba and Cody Dufrene - with three. Richard has 19 stolen bases to his name, while Leo Vargas has 13 of his own.
After Tuesday's game, the Green Wave will travel to Orlando to face the UCF Knights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before hosting UAB the following Thursday, Friday and Saturday to close out the regular season.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.