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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Rasmussen, Welch lead Green Wave to start 2024 baseball season

The 2024 Green Wave baseball season is officially underway (Courtesy of Parker Waters- Tulane Athletics)

Baseball season is officially underway. The reigning AAC champions Tulane Green Wave won its first series of the year at home against the Northwestern University Wildcats last weekend, and also defeated the Nicholls State University Colonels on Tuesday.

The 3-1 start is already a night and day difference from last season. Despite making a miraculous run in the conference tournament, the Green Wave started the 2023 season 0-6, resulting in a poor regular season record of 19-42.

In his second season as head coach, Jay Uhlman has his squad picking up right where they left off. It helps to gain some offseason additions through the transfer portal, and East Carolina University transfer Connor Rasmussen has knocked it out of the park so far in his debut Uptown, quite literally. Rasmussen’s first career home run could not have come at a better time, at the bottom of the eighth inning with bases loaded. The grand slam put the Green Wave up 12-7 against the Wildcats, solidifying both a game and series victory. Stats back up Rasmussen’s stellar start: his batting average so far has tripled that of last season, and his on base and slugging percentage is more than four times as much at 1.111.

Helping out Rasmussen has been third baseman Michael Lombardi, who leads all starters with the highest batting average so far at .444. While struggling in his short stint as a pitcher, Lombardi has excelled as both a batter and infielder, making critical outs from third base against Nicholls.

Then there is first baseman Brady Marget, who has been referred to as “Mr. Consistent.” So far, Marget has lived up to his namesake, leading the team in both runs batted in and total hits. Marget has averaged at least .290 batting average in all three seasons for the Green Wave, and has shown out so far.

The Green Wave’s early success is even more encouraging when considering the early struggles of the AAC Preseason Player of the Year, center fielder Teo Banks. Banks currently has the second lowest batting average of the team at .133 and did not record a hit until Tuesday’s game against Nicholls. Banks’s play came up big against the Colonels however, and his second hit of the game was a perfect line drive to right field and got the Green Wave on the board. We certainly can expect Banks’s play to pick up as the season continues.

In the bullpen, the main standouts so far have been Chandler Welch and Carter Benbrook. Welch started in Tulane’s second game against Northwestern, leading them to their first victory of the season with 10 strikeouts in five innings. The performance earned Welch the honor of Pitcher of the Week in the American Conference. On the relieving end, Carter Benbrook stood out in the first game of the Northwestern series, striking out six batters in three innings.

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