Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones is entering his 21st season with the Green Wave
Sept. 23, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Greer Field at Turchin Stadium will see a heap of action over the next 40 days, as Tulane baseball will begin their fall practice schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 24, running through the beginning of November in preparation for the 2014 season.
Tuesday will mark the first day that the entire team can practice together, and they'll do so with the expectations of playing in the NCAA Tournament come June 2014.
The team is scheduled to hold practices every Tuesday and Thursday until Oct. 31, with practices and intrasquad games being held on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays through Oct. 20. After one weekend off in late October, the team will reconvene for two days of practice before holding their annual Fall Ball World Series from Nov.1-3.
Weekday practices will be held at 2:15pm CT, while weekend practice times vary. Please see the schedule below for full details. Note that dates and times may change. Fans are welcome to attend practices and intrasquads.
The Green Wave coaching staff will have the opportunity to see their 19 new players in action for the first time as a cohesive unit, playing alongside many of the returning athletes from the 2013 season. Throughout the early portion of fall ball, the coaching staff will determine how to divide the rosters for the Fall Ball World Series.
This will also be a pivotal time for the coaching staff, as they decide how to replace the four position starters and weekend pitching rotation from the 2013 season. Last year's weekend rotation of Tony Rizzotti, Alex Byo and David Napoli were selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June. Infielders Brennan Middleton and Garrett Cannizaro were also tabbed by Major League ballclubs, while first baseman Sean Potkay and center fielder Brandon Boudreaux exhausted their eligibility after last season.
"I really do enjoy fall practice," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "I enjoy the teaching aspect, the ability to get your system in and to evaluate. With this fall, we will have to be able to evaluate because we have so many new players. Those guys are going to have to quickly understand our system and the uniqueness of the way the game is being played now. This will be completely opposite from last fall, as last year we returned a veteran club. Every minute of this fall practice will be critical."
Tulane scoured the country for the top talent in high school and junior college, and came away with a recruiting class that received recognition from Collegiate Baseball News. On Tuesday, the 19 players that the coaching staff put in endless hours over the last few years to recruit to come to the Uptown campus will don the Olive and Blue for the first time.
Infielders Stephen Alemais, Garrett Deschamp, Hunter Hope, Jake Willsey, Hunter Williams and Tyler Wilson will all get work at their respective positions, while Lex Kaplan, John Gandolfo, Grant Brown will patrol the spacious outfield at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Barry Buchowski and Jake Rogers will get some time behind the plate, working with the returning pitchers, as well as the new arms J.P. France, Corey Merrill, Zach Flowers, Sam Bjorngjeld, Matt Horton, Troy Ward, Andrew Culp and Tyler Zamjahn.
Tulane returns four players who started a majority of the games at their position in 2013. Designated hitter/right fielder Andrew Garner batted .283 last year - second on the team - while tying for the team lead in doubles with 17. Utility player Bowen Woodson saw time predominately at second base, but also started games at designated hitter and the corner outfield positions. The Vicksburg, Miss., native batted .249 with one home run and 22 RBI.
Cameron Burns recorded 36 starts behind the dish as a true freshman, batting .168 with 11 RBI. Most of his contributions were defensively, as he threw out 16 base stealers.
One notable player that will not suit up for the baseball team during fall ball is sophomore Richard Carthon, who will be spending his fall with the football squad as a safety. The Shreveport, La., native earned Conference U SA All-Freshman Team honors in 2013 after hitting .264 with one home run, 14 RBI and a team-leading 14 stolen bases.
On the mound, the Green Wave will look for a few pitchers to revive their careers, as starters Tyler Mapes and Alex Massey will return from injuries in 2014. Massey missed all of last season, but was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2012. Mapes was off to a solid start in 2013, recording 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery in early March.
Redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc will play an integral role, as well, as he logged weekend starts towards the end of last season when Rizzotti went down with an injury. The Abita Springs, La., native went 4-4 with a 4.40 ERA in ten starts over the course of the season.
Tulane does return Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-American Ian Gibaut, who lead Tulane in appearances (26) and saves (12). Gibaut was crucial in the backend of the bullpen that also featured returnees Emerson Gibbs, Daniel Rankin, Brady Wilson and Kyle McKenzie.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.
2013 Tulane Baseball Fall Schedule (Times listed are when pre-practice conditioning begins)
Sept. 24, Practice, 2:15pm
Sept. 26, Practice, 2:15pm
Sept. 27, Practice/Intrasquad, 2:15pm
Sept. 28, Practice/Intrasquad, 1:00pm
Sept 29, Practice/Intrasquad, 10:00am
Oct. 1, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 3, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 4, Practice/Intrasquad, 2:15pm
Oct. 5, Intrasquad, 1:00pm
Oct. 6, Practice/Intrasquad, 10:00am
Oct. 8, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 10, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 11, Practice/Intrasquad, 2:15pm
Oct. 12, Practice/Intrasquad, 12:00pm
Oct. 13, Practice/Intrasquad, 10:00am
Oct. 15, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 17, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 18, Practice/Intrasquad, 2:15pm
Oct. 19, Practice/Intrasquad, 10:00am
Oct. 20, Practice/Intrasquad, 10:00am
Oct. 22, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 24, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 29, Practice, 2:15pm
Oct. 31, Practice, 2:15pm
Nov.1, Fall Ball World Series Game 1, TBA
Nov. 2, Fall Ball World Series Game 2, TBA
Nov. 3, Fall Ball World Series Game 3, TBA
All Dates and Times are Subject to Change