Tulane baseball ends season at Baton Rouge Regional

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

tulane baseball
LSU defeated Tulane in the Baton Rouge regional of the NCAA tournament. (Courtesy of Parker Waters)

It was miraculous that the Tulane Green Wave baseball team made the postseason. Tulane finished the year 19-42, setting a new mark for most losses in a single campaign. Despite their losing record, the Green Wave won the American Athletic Conference tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.

The Green Wave entered the Baton Rouge Regional as an underdog in a group featuring the LSU Tigers, Oregon State University Beavers and Sam Houston State University Bearkats. All games were held at Skip Bertman Field at Alex Box Stadium — the home of LSU baseball.

Tulane faced off against LSU to open the tournament and lost 7-2. Against their greatest rivals, Tulane found few answers for LSU ace Paul Skenes. Skenes, a First-Team All-American and 2023 National Player of the Year, brilliantly threw a complete game with 12 strikeouts. His fastball still hit over 100 mph even after throwing 124 pitches. Meanwhile, fellow First-Team All-American Dylan Crews led the Bayou Bengals’ offense with three hits.

Tulane ace Dylan Carmouche struggled, giving up 6 runs, but performed well enough to keep the Wave in the game. Reliever Michael Lombardi performed admirably in his 3.2 inning cameo. Offensively, Brady Marget was the only player to consistently succeed against Skenes, while a 2-run home run from Brennan Lambert gave the visitors their only runs of the game.

Facing elimination, Tulane needed to defeat the Sam Houston Bearkats to stay alive. However, the Wave was crushed 10-2 despite a 20-hour delay in the game due to lightning in the area.

This season was certainly not the one first year head coach Jay Uhlman expected in a good and bad way. There were few silver linings in a season where the team went 19-42 and struggled in all aspects, especially during the non-conference portion of the season.

However, there were plenty of good moments worth mentioning. The AAC tournament is the obvious highlight as the team caught fire and defeated all opponents en route to a championship. Most players took noticeable steps forward in their development over the course of the season. 

After the LSU game, Tigers head coach Jay Johnson said this about Tulane:

“[Their] team is playing really well right now. I watched every pitch of the [AAC] tournament. Watched a lot of their last series against Memphis and Houston. I determined that the team we played [on] April 11 is not the team we were playing today … If you look at them on the surface of their record and don’t dig deeper, you could make a mistake and make a judgment about Tulane that’s not true. They are incredibly well coached, incredibly well coached. They have good players both on the mound and at the top of the batting order. And they are playing really good baseball right now.”

This season will be remembered, both the good and bad, for years to come. However, the immediate focus for the coaches will be recruiting more talent to Uptown New Orleans while the players prepare for their respective summer leagues. 

Jude Papillion contributed to this article’s reporting.

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