NEW ORLEANS -- I took in last night's game between Cape-rich Tulane University and Nicholls State on a balmy Louisiana night. Falmouth and Wareham players factored heavily in Tulane's 5-0 victory. Tulane (20-7) features current and previous Cape Cod Baseball players, including Aja Barto, Preston Claiborne, Shooter Hunt, Warren McFadden and Seth Henry.
- Claiborne came in to pitch an impressive two innings of middle relief with a mere 3-0 lead and a testy Nicholls State knocking at the door several times during the game. A radar gun put his fast ball at 91 mph. He looked solid both innings to me. He finished the 6th and 7th with no runs, no hits and one base on balls.
- Seth Henry made some phenomenal plays at third, including a diving stab that stopped a double and a great 5-3 put-out. Dare a I say shades of Brooksy? He also homered to bring home Falmouth's "Fan Favorite" Warren McFadden (who told me later that night at the turnstiles that he hopes not to return to the Cape).
- Aja Bartow had a tough night. He was hit by a pitch and was thrown out on a 1-6 put-out at second.
- Warren McFadden (RF) went 0-3 but did hit the ball hard (unfortunately right at people). Warren also had a major league 9-2 put-out, throwing a frozen rope from RF to the plate in the 6th that inspired oohs and aahs fro the 200-300 fans on hand.
This was hardly a premier match-up, but the contest was closer than the final score indicates. At home, Tulane has built an incredible baseball program that was ranked nationally in the preseason and continues to attract national attention. The visitors, Nicolls State is a small program whose fans enjoyed an exciting night at Zephyr Field, the New York Mets' Triple-A ballpark, where Tulane is currently playing home games while its campus field is being repaired.
The Green Wave's Turchin Stadium had been scheduled for rennovation when sadly Hurricane Katrina hit. Tulane has now moved its Turchin Stadium opening date to May of this year. Tulane officials insist Turchin will open in time for the Conference USA tournament in early May.
EDITOR'S NOTE: After the game last night I caught up with Claiborne, Barto and Henry for an interview about the CCBL. Stay tuned in April for a new CODBALL CONVERSATION with the Tulane Green Wave.