It's more than three months away, but Green Wave baseball fans are counting the days until the start of baseball season, which will begin on Feb. 20, 2009, with a 15-game stand on the uptown campus at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
The first pitch in the new season will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20, when the Wave takes on LeMoyne College of Syracuse, N.Y. It will be the second season for Turchin Stadium, which was inaugurated on Feb. 23, 2008, after being rebuilt and expanded after Hurricane Katrina.
The Tulane schedule, announced by head coach Rick Jones, will bring tough competition from seven NCAA tournament participants, eight in-state rivals and 36 home games.
Tulane's competitive schedule finds it facing 2008 NCAA College World Series teams including the University of Californiaâ“Irvine, Louisiana State University and fellow Conference USA member Rice University, along with league foes the University of Houston, the University of Southern Mississippi and East Carolina University, all of whom advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.
The Green Wave also will take on NCAA College World Series Regional participant the University of New Orleans for three games in 2009. The calendar includes other in-state matchups with the University of Louisianaâ“Monroe, Northwestern State University, McNeese State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Nicholls State University, the University of Louisianaâ“Lafayette and LSU, who lost to the University of North Carolina in the College World Series Championship bracket in 2008.
Headlining non-conference matchups, Tulane will face NCAA powerhouse UCâ“Irvine for a three-game set on the West Coast on March 13â“15, 2009. The Anteaters were 42-18 last year after falling to LSU in the Super Regionals of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
“It's a very challenging schedule, one that I think if we perform well in, will help us a lot as far as RPI (ratings percentage index) and postseason opportunities,” Jones said.
Tulane begins C-USA play on March 27, hosting Houston for a weekend series.
“We play in one of the top five leagues in the country and a league that is getting better every year. I think this year will be the toughest this league has been since its inception,” Jones said. “It's a tremendously challenging league.”
Season tickets are available on-line or by calling the Tulane ticket office at 504-861-9283.