Opinion: Tulane athletics is a Southern school anomaly


Redshirt junior pitcher Dan Rankin pitches in the three-game series against Illinois State on March 26 in Turchin Stadium. This sweep of the Redbirds contributed to Tulane’s seven game winning streak.

Samantha Shafia, Associate Sports Editor

A recent post on Tulane’s Yik Yak said it best: “So happy baseball is back.”

Spring fever hits Tulane all year long as Tulane students itch with desire to hear the smack of the bat or the thud of a glove catching a fastball. Students are proud to strut around in their Tulane baseball caps and jerseys while chewing sunflower seeds as they support the Tulane baseball team.

Throughout the first semester, Yulman Stadium and Devlin Fieldhouse did not have a large student presence. Most students either watch part of the games before leaving or think they’re not even worth attending.

When Turchin Stadium powered on its lights for Tulane baseball’s season opener against Illinois (6-5) on Feb. 19, Tulane student spectators filled the stands with exuberance and life as cheers past the right field foul line could be heard.

During this game, the Wave surprised fans with a shocking win in the tenth inning. Redshirt junior Jeremy Montalbano hit a three-run walk-off home run to end the game. This legendary start of the Tulane baseball season reaffirmed the already apparent fact: Tulane University is a baseball school.

The support for the team has not stopped since that day. Tulane students trekked out to the March 29 Tulane vs. LSU (7-1) game in Baton Rouge to see the Wave defeat the Tigers for the first time at LSU in nine years.

Students will sacrifice their time during the week to watch the Tulane baseball team play at Greer Field. Most recently, Tulane competed against Southeastern Louisiana (6-7) on Tuesday. Despite this event being on a weeknight, the metal benches were adorned with Tulane students carrying backpacks, laptops and books with them. Students simply wanted to show their support and watch the game while doing homework, creating huge eruptions with the highs and lows of the game.

This student dedication to Tulane’s baseball team will never stop as they continue to rise through the ranks. Maybe one day students who wish to both support the team and study abroad will do so during the fall semester in an attempt to avoid the conflicting schedules.

Most college students in the South would never study abroad during the fall semester because of the fear of missing out on football games. Just like the city of New Orleans, however, Tulane is a different place. Most people feel like they are not really in the South when they are here. Same goes with Tulane’s sports.

As long as the Tulane baseball team continues to shine, the student section bleachers at Greer Field will never be empty.

This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

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