Oct. 16, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Rookie utility athlete Rob Segedin went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, and posted a strikeout in a perfect inning of relief, as the Tulane University baseball team opened week four of fall practice with a 2-2 intrasquad tie Tuesday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
With his team trailing 2-1 after three and a half innings, Segedin retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the fourth. In the top of the fifth, he roped a ground-rule double down the left-field line to plate pinch-runner Scott Powell from second to account for the final score.
"Rob Segedin, Aja Barto and Taylor Rogers all had a good day," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "I also thought Drew Allain caught well. That might be something you see there more and more. He's a guy that is very versatile. He's an outstanding outfielder, but he's also caught a lot and can catch, and has an outstanding and accurate throwing arm.
"We're still trying to get a handle on this length of this practice. Any other year, this would be the Fall World Series already. We've still got this week and two and a half more. We're going to sit in our meetings this week and do everything we can to try to create as much unique interest as we can, but still get our pitchers in rhythm."
Segedin was one of three players to post two-hit outings on Tuesday, joining Powell and junior catcher Jared Dyer. Powell had a pair of singles in two trips to the plate, stole three bases and scored the game-tying run. Dyer had a pair of base hits with a run scored.
On the mound, Rogers got things going for Team B. He missed the three weekend scrimmages while attending a leadership conference in Dallas, but did not showed any signs of rust as he allowed just one hit with a walk and three strikeouts in three scoreless frames.
Junior closer Mason Griffin was in line for his second save of the fall season, but a pair of errors in the fifth led to his demise as Segedin took advantage of the extended inning to tie the game with his first extra-base hit of offseason drills.
"We want to get a feel for our pitching staff and the roles they would be in," Jones said. "Having to play as many as five games a week next season, we have to find starters for games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - a five man rotation - then our set-up guy and closer.
"We want to get a feel for that coming out of fall, because you have such a short period of time in the spring next year. So, the challenge for us is to try to keep it fresh, but to still come out of it saying, `Okay, we feel comfortable this is our Tuesday night guy, this is our set-up guy.' To do that, you need to be more consistent, play the game the way you're going to play it in the spring. But the challenge, it's a little bit of a balancing act. You may see a little bit of each in the next couple of weeks until we get to the end."
The unsung hero of the day, however, may have been the field itself. A steady rain fell throughout the early portion of Tuesday's practice, but with the surface being FieldTurf instead of natural grass allowed the team to play through the precipitation. One of the adjustments the base-runners learned on Tuesday was how to play the surface as the artificial grass is much slicker when wet and adjustments were made to ensure not over-sliding the bags.
"The blades were damp, and when the blades are damp, you're going to slide a little bit further and with a little bit more velocity," Jones said. "Our guys have figured it out. That should be a home-field advantage. The great example today, with this kind of surface when you get this kind of rain. We didn't have to stop and wait for practice time, and waste practice time, and pulling the tarp on the field and off the field. We were able to actually get in BP, our drill series and play the game, even though we had the showers when we started that were pretty strong."
The Green Wave return to practice on Tuesday, Oct. 16, when they take the field at 2:15 p.m. and hold scrimmage No. 8 approximately an hour later. The Tulane team will hold week-day practices from 2:15-5:30 p.m., with Saturday practices set to begin at 10 a.m. and Sunday practices slated for 1 p.m. Practice will continue through Nov. 8, and the final five days will be the Green Wave's annual Fall World Series.