Nov. 22, 2000
By Kristin Eger
Most students use their summers to soak up the sun and relax from the demanding final schedules of college. Two of Tulane's boys decided to try something new for their summer, for instance, playing for gold medals on USA Olympic baseball teams. Jake Gautreau and Mike Aubrey each contended for the gold this summer on Team USA and USA Junior National Team respectively.
Junior Jake Gautreau played a major roll in the huge success of Team USA this past summer. The squad ended the summer 27-3-1, and went unbeaten over their final 21 games to post the best winning % (.900) in National Team history. Appointed to Team USA, Gautreau acquired several accolades playing overseas, especially in the 2000 Honkball Tournament played in Haarlem, Netherlands. Going 9 for 19, Gautreau won the honor of Best Hitter. In the final game against Cuba, Gautreau did what every young baseball player dreams. In the ninth inning, Gautreau blasted the game winning homerun to bring home the gold medal. This feat awarded him Home Run King. On the summer, Gautreau hit .348 with 20 RBI, four home runs and seven doubles. For those who know Gautreau, his success comes as no surprise. Last season, he led the Green Wave with 16 homeruns, 68 RBIs and batting average of .388.
Another Green Wave player who saw action this summer was Mike Aubrey. Aubrey, who comes into his freshman year of Tulane baseball, is a player who has competed among the elite of North America and Southeast Asia. In Joplin, Missouri, Aubrey participated in trials and was selected to be one of the eighteen players on the USA Junior World Team. He joined the team as a two-way position, pitching and playing in the outfield. He saw action mainly as a pitcher while traveling throughout Canada and the US. With Aubrey's help, the team went 6-2. Through 10 2/3 innings of work Aubrey compiled a 2.53 ERA. He struck out 10 and walked four. Opponents hit .229 against the lefty.
Despite having a strictly regimented schedule of traveling and playing in various tournaments, Aubrey enjoyed his time with his fellow players.
"The experience being around great players from all over is indescribable," noted Aubrey.
In the last stretch of the games, the National Junior Team USA went all the way to the finals to compete with Korea for the gold medal. Although the gold eluded the US, Aubrey comes home with celebrated silver, which only a few college students can boast.
As with Aubrey, Gautreau enjoyed the company he held during the summer. Acknowledging the prestige of playing with the best in the country and against the best around the world. The constant traveling gave him a dose of what he can expect in the years ahead.
"Playing for Team USA made me realize what it will be playing in the majors," admitted Gautreau.
The constant traveling might be a negative but Gautreau is ready for the challenge.
After achieving such success during the summer, Mike Aubrey and Jake Gautreau turn their focus on Tulane baseball for the 2001 season. If the success of their summer hiatus reveals a glimpse into the future, this may be the best season Tulane has ever seen.
The Green Wave returns eight of nine position players and welcomes 16 newcomers to the 2001 squad. Key returning position players include Gautreau, James Jurries, Steve Shirley, James Burgess, four all-conference honorees, and Andy Cannizaro. On the mound, Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection Nick Bourgeois, Barth Melius and Matt Foster look to continue on last season's success. Among the new faces are Aubrey, infielder Anthony Giarratano, RHP Andrew Corona and catcher Wyn Spencer.
The 2001 season begins in the comfort of Turchin Stadium with a three-game series against Sam Houston State on February 2nd. A non-conference series with Pepperdine, and C-USA weekend series with South Florida, Houston, Southern Miss, Memphis, Cincinnati and UAB highlight Tulane's home schedule. Midweek games include instate rivals Louisiana-Lafayette at Turchin as well as, UNO and LSU at Zephyr Field. The Green Wave hosts the 2001 Conference USA Tournament on May 16-20 at Zephyr Field.