It is that time of year again folks! Yes, the 2014 College Baseball season begins this weekend with teams hitting the Diamond for the first time this year. “We have a lot of new faces and as many freshman players we’ve had to start a season since my second year,” said Tulane Coach Rick Jones.
The Green Wave open their 2014 season this weekend with a four game series Uptown against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The Wave have to replace three solid pitchers that were lost to Major League Baseball: Tony Rizzotti (San Diego Padres), David Napoli (Washington Nationals) and Alex Byo (Arizona Diamondbacks) are all now playing in the Majors, leaving Coach Jones with some big shoes to fill on the mound for his Wave Team. We are excited about the potential of some of our younger, newer pitchers. Corey Merrill and J.P. France are two players that Coach Rick Jones is looking forward to seeing start off their seasons.
FULL AUDIO: Bobby and Deke talk to Tulane Baseball Head Coach Rick Jones
Across town there is a new yet familiar man back on the bags for UNO. “I’m rejuvenated! If I can give back to UNO, that’s what I hope to do,” said Coach Ron Maestri. Coach Maestri is back coaching again for the program he once led to the College World Series. And this weekend Coach Maestri and his UNO Privateers will take on the LSU Tigers. “I’ve learned a lot from these kids. These players have done everything I’ve asked of them and I’m proud to be their coach.” UNO will open their season Friday Night at LSU.
FULL AUDIO: Bobby and Deke talk to UNO Baseball Head Coach Ron Maestri
Speaking of LSU, the Tigers are roaring to get the season underway. “This is my thirty-second year of having an opening game. And there is a little something special and exciting about the first game of the season,” said Coach Paul Mainieri. He and his #2 ranked Tigers will play three games this weekend. The Tigers entertain UNO Friday night, then the two play Saturday at Zephyr Field, and the Tigers round out the weekend Sunday against Grambling State.
Coach Mainieri says his team is ready for the season. “Preparations for the season have been outstanding. Of course we have had to deal with some bad weather over the last month. But we got in a lot of good work.”
The Tigers look to be a team that is in the thick of things when it comes to the 2014 College World Series. And one strength LSU has is their pitching. “When Aaron Nola is on the mound we are very confident. He (Nola) is one of the best players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching."
FULL AUDIO: Bobby and Deke talk to LSU Baseball Head Coach Paul Mainieri