Uneven confidence threatens baseball season conclusion

Jordan Figueredo, Print Sports Editor

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One of the few teams with a winning record, Tulane baseball continues to impress during the 2015-16 season. With a record of 23-13 (4-4 American Athletic Conference), there are many highlights for this team.

In his second year as head coach, David Pierce expects a level of excellence on the field and refuses to accept any form of nonsense from his players. He treats them as professionals and waits for them to act as such. In the weekend series against Cincinnati, junior infielder Stephen Alemais became irritated with his performance and Coach Pierce immediately took action by taking Alemais out of the game, showing his coaching style.

“It was out of frustration,” Pierce said. “He threw his helmet and I am not going to put up with that.”

Tulane baseball started out strong having only lost its first weekend series this past weekend against Cincinnati. As the competition grows stronger, the team is evaluating its strengths and weaknesses in order to correct any issues before its season comes to a close. With future opponents such as UCF, Houston, Memphis and LSU among some others, the team hopes to bounce back from its weekend loss.

In the first game after the series against Cincinnati, the Green Wave notched a school-record tying ninth shutout in a 12-0 sweep over Southern Mississippi.

Despite this win, the current strengths and weaknesses are still being addressed.

The strength this season for The Wave has been the pitching. With a solid rotation and confidence on the mound, the pitchers are responsible for the strong defense. In a home series against Cincinnati April 16, freshman left-handed pitcher Ross Massey pitched his second-straight complete game, being one of the strongest pitching performances on the team so far.

“Ross Massey just keeps doing it,” Pierce said. “Back-to-back complete games. Back-to-back shutout complete games, that’s pretty solid. He’s just a special kid. He goes out there and really competes and gives us a chance to win a game.”

There are weaknesses to this team, however, and those stem from the at-bat performances.

“I think we’re in a little bit of a hitting funk right now, but we’ll get it together,” redshirt junior catcher Jeremy Montalbano said. “Right now we’re not hitting the ball like we were in the beginning of the year. We’re trying a little too hard but we’ll relax and fix it.”

Pierce has emphasized relaxing at the plate and having the players trust themselves when at the plate and not get in their heads and psych themselves out.

With the AAC Championships quickly approaching, the leaders on the team are stepping up and inspiring the team camaraderie.

“Throughout the season we’ve been battling constant battles,” junior right handed pitcher Corey Merrill said. “Everyone is fighting as a team.”

When this season comes to a close, many key players will be departing. Senior outfielder Richard Carthon, redshirt senior pitcher Trevor Simms, redshirt senior pitcher Alex Massey and senior pitcher Emerson Gibbs will be graduating leaving the future of the Wave in new hands.

Despite going back and forth throughout the season, Tulane is confident going into the remainder of the 2015-16 season, finishing the season as well as, for many, their time at Tulane, on a strong note.

“We’re in a tough league and we understand that,” Pierce said. “We can go one of two directions and, hopefully, the team chooses to go in the right direction and get behind each other.”