May 27, 2002
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University baseball team claimed its fifth consecutive berth in the postseason as the Green Wave claimed the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, the NCAA Selection Committee announced today.
Tulane, 35-24 overall and winners of 22 of its last 32 contests, will take on second-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette in the opening round on Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium and will play either top-seeded LSU or fourth-seeded Southern University, depending on the outcome of each game.
"I'm excited for our guys and proud of our effort down the stretch," head coach Rick Jones said. "It keeps our postseason streak alive, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
Tulane is one of five Conference USA teams to earn bids to the NCAA Regionals, joining Houston (No. 1 seed in Mesa, Ariz.), East Carolina (No. 2 seed in Clemson, S.C.), South Florida (No. 3 seed in Tallahassee, Fla.) and Louisville (No. 3 seed in Atlanta, Ga.). The five C-USA teams marks the most postseason berths in league history, and is the second most of any conference in the nation.
As a team, Tulane enters the postseason with a .304 batting average and a .461 slugging percentage courtesy of 124 doubles, 13 triples and 62 home runs. Senior infielder James Jurries, the 2002 Conference USA Player of the Year, leads the team in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.408), slugging percentage (.776), home runs (20) and RBI (74) while ranking second on the squad in stolen bases (29).
Junior centerfielder Jon Kaplan is second on the team in hitting with a .343 batting average, and leads the Green Wave with 30 stolen bases. Junior leftfielder/first baseman Aaron Feldman, meanwhile, rounds out Tulane's top three hitters with a .330 clip, including 11 doubles, two triples and three homers.
As a staff, Tulane's pitchers have a 5.00 ERA and are led by first-team All-Conference USA selection Nick Bourgeois with a 3.15 mark. The junior lefty also paces the squad in opponent batting average (.218), wins (10), innings pitched (108.2) and strikeouts (108). Sophomore southpaw Joey Charron is the Green Wave's relief specialist and leads the team and Conference USA with nine saves.
Tulane will be making its 14th trip to the NCAA Tournament in the history of the program, including its seventh trip in nine season under Jones' tutelage. Last season when Green Wave swept the New Orleans Regional, took two-out-of-three from arch-rival LSU in the Super Regional, and advanced to the College World Series for the first time. Tulane has participated in an NCAA Regional five times in Baton Rouge, and holds an 8-10 record at Alex Box Stadium in postseason play.
During the 2002 season, Tulane is 1-3 vs. the Baton Rouge Regional field with a 1-1 split with host LSU and an 0-2 record against Louisiana-Lafayette. The last time the Green Wave took on the Southern Jaguars was in last year's Regional opener when Tulane won 22-9.
TICKET INFORMATION - Tulane's allotted share of tickets for the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge will be distributed via a weighted lottery system to baseball season ticket holders beginning on Wednesday, May 29. Season ticket holders who are also members of the Tulane Athletic Fund will additional purchasing options depending on their level of membership. For more information, please call the Tulane Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE or the Tulane Athletic Fund Office at (504) 865-5356.