Oct. 12, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - If one were to have seen Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Saturday morning, they would have noticed that there were a lot more than just your typical nine players in the field. On Saturday, the Green Wave baseball program hosted St. Michael Special School students for a morning filled with baseball lessons and games coupled with a lot of smiles.
Each player took a group of the students from the school on Chippewa Street under their wing as they taught them the different aspects of the game before playing many scrimmages with the students against their peers.
Nearly 70 students from St. Michael Special School took the field this morning, while many of their parents watched from the dugout and the stands.
"This is always a special day for our program," said Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones. "Today, we just took it to another level. It was so organized, and our kids just enjoyed it so much. The sponsorship from FedEx was tremendous. It's something I always look forward to."
Freshman infielder Stephen Alemais worked with a few of the children on fielding drills in the outfield, tossing yellow balls back and forth to work on hand-eye coordination. While that was going on, sophomore utility player Tim Yandel and junior college transfer Garrett Deschamp tutored some of the children as they worked on their catching abilities.
Once the action started, sophomore utility player Hunter Lapeyre took to the mound, tossing underhand pitches to some of the older students. As for the younger ones, a tee was used, as senior Briggs Barrios worked with one particular young girl on her swing.
On the base paths, the Green Wave players and coaches took turns running with each of the students. Freshman outfielder Grant Brown manned second base, giving runners the green light when it was clear that a fly ball would not be caught. Senior pitcher Kyle McKenzie did the same thing over at third base.
Assistant coach Shooter Hunt took things to another level, as he held hands with one little girl as she rounded the bases. Hunt did not let go until she crossed home plate.
All in all, it was a day that the Tulane baseball program and the St. Michael Special School students will never forget.
"It was a great experience to just get these kids out here and play some baseball with them," said Alemais. "They were really excited to be here, and the fact that we could put smiles on their faces was really rewarding to us."
St. Michael Special School is dedicated to helping students with major learning disabilities and special educational needs. The school provides students with a high quality education, as well as social, vocational and physical training.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.