FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
NEW ORLEANS – The 2014 Tulane baseball program will travel to both coasts, and quite a few places in between, as they released their schedule on Wednesday, highlighted by 32 home games at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, and 55 games overall.
Tulane will play 15 games against opponents who participated in the NCAA Regionals in 2013, including Conference USA opponent Rice, who won the C-USA Championship last year, and league newcomer UTSA, who Tulane took down in two of three contests last season. Both series will be home for the Green Wave, as UTSA will visit Greer Field at Turchin Stadium from April 4-6, while Rice comes one week later from April 11-13.
Tulane will rack up travel miles galore this year, as they will play six weekend series on the road, including a tournament held at Cal in Berkeley, Calif., featuring the Green Wave, the University of San Francisco, Cal and Arkansas from March 7-9. USF and Arkansas played in the NCAA Regionals last year.
“I think we have put together a very competitive schedule,” said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. “It’s a schedule that, if we are successful and do our part, it will help us in our RPI. The conference is very challenging, and it’s our last year in the league. We tried to schedule as many non- conference RPI games as possible. The trip out to the West Coast will be very challenging, and should help out our RPI.”
The Green Wave kick off their season on Feb. 14, with a four-game home series against Arkansas- Pine Bluff. A doubleheader will be played on Saturday, Feb. 15. Following the season-opening weekend, Tulane will play crosstown rival New Orleans at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
League play starts early this year, as Tulane will head north to Ruston, La., during the second weekend of the season to square off against new C-USA foe Louisiana Tech from Feb. 21-23. The following Tuesday, Tulane will head down to the bayou to play Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La., on Feb. 25.
The Sacred Heart Pioneers, who played for the Northeast Conference Championship in 2013, will close out February and open up March for the Green Wave, as they will make their way down to New Orleans for the first time since 2008 from Feb. 28-March 2.
March will be a busy month for the Green Wave, as they travel to California during the early part of the month before returning home to face 2013 NCAA Regional squad Louisiana-Lafayette on March 11 on the Uptown campus before traveling to Greenville, N.C. for a three-game conference series against East Carolina from March 14-16.
During the middle of March, Tulane will host in-state rival Southeastern Louisiana – led by first-year head coach and former Green Wave baseball player Matt Riser – on March 18, one day before heading across town to play their first contest at UNO’s new field on March 19. The week marks Tulane’s lone two midweek game week of the season, one season after the Green Wave had five weeks schedule as such. Middle Tennessee State, who is also new to C-USA, will come down the following weekend (March 21-23) for Tulane’s third C-USA series of the year.
Closing out the month, Tulane will host LSU on March 25 before heading to Charleston, W. Va., for the second consecutive year to play Marshall (March 28-30).
April is much more travel-friendly to the Green Wave, as they only play one weekend series on the road. The Green Wave will start the month away from home, as they head to Lafayette, La., for the second time in as many seasons to play Louisiana-Lafayette on the first of the month. After the aforementioned series against UTSA, Tulane will travel up I-55 for a tilt against Southeastern Louisiana on April 8. After Rice visits Tulane the following weekend, the Green Wave will host McNeese State for the first time since March 2009 as the Cowboys come down for a game on April 15.
From April 17-19, Tulane will be on the East Coast again, as they travel to C-USA opponent Charlotte, a team Jones is quite familiar with as they were in the Metro Conference upon Jones’ arrival to Tulane and moved to the C-USA in 1995 before departing the league ten years later.
On April 23, Tulane will travel up the Mississippi River for their lone game in Baton Rouge, La., on the season against LSU before hosting 2013 NCAA Regional participant Wichita State to a three-game series from April 25-27. Nicholls State will visit Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on April 29 to close out the month.
Two home conference weekend series sandwich a road conference series and one midweek game in May for the Green Wave, as Southern Miss (May 2-4) and Florida International (May 15-17) visit Tulane, while Southeastern Louisiana visits the Green Wave again on May 6 before Tulane heads to Birmingham, Ala., for a three-game league series against UAB from May 9-11.
“We are excited about Wichita State coming in for our off weekend,” added Jones. “We are going on the road more this year, and I think if we do our part, this is a schedule that should give us the best opportunity to play in the postseason.”
The 2014 Conference USA Championship will be held in Hattiesburg, Miss., from May 21-25. Eight teams will make the tournament, and they will see a return to the double-elimination tournament format that the league used from 1996-2009.
In addition to the regular season schedule, the Tulane baseball program has announced that the Tulane Baseball Alumni Game will return on Feb. 8 at 2pm. At that time, Tulane will honor the 1994 NCAA Regional baseball team, which was Jones’ first squad as head coach at Tulane.
“Bringing back the Alumni Game is something that I really felt we should do,” mentioned Jones. “I think it will be a good test to our freshmen, and it will give them an opportunity to be around some of our former great players. I’m also thrilled to be able to honor the 1994 club. We were an NCAA club, and we had a tremendous year. All of the guys on that club have become extremely successful in whatever they have done after their baseball careers. That whole weekend is something I am really looking forward to.”