Will Tulane Baseball remain elite in new era?
David Pierce takes over Green Wave program with eye on championships
From a new on-campus football stadium to a new conference, the 2014-15 academic year has been full of change for Tulane athletics. Changes continue with the Green Wave baseball program, which is under new leadership for the first time in more than two decades. David Pierce has taken over the Green Wave’s dug out this season, becoming Tulane’s first new head coach in 21 years.
Pierce wants to win and win now. He has 25 returning players who are young, but experienced, and was able to keep his coaching staff together, bringing all with him to New Orleans from Sam Houston State. He says baseball is “a simple game,” and his staff wants to keep it simple.
“Our philosophy is intact. We really stay away from the batting average as much as possible, and we talk about run production. (We talk) about how we are producing, on base percentage versus batting average, advancing when the opportunity is there, base runners and being very aggressive with the ball in play.”
He has the team off to a 3-1 start, winning a three-game series last weekend at perienial powerhouse Pepperdine and a mid-week contest at Southeastern. He plans to keep Tulane among college baseball’s elite and is hoping showoff some early season excitement as they play their first home series of the season against San Francisco this weekend, beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m.
“As we move into our inaugural season, we look at defining the success of our program in what we are and what we want to become,” Pierce said. “The program has such a great history under Rick Jones, who was here for 21 years. I'm really thankful for coach and what he did here. We have such aspirations for what we are going to do, on and off the field.”
While winning the National Championship is the ultimate goal, Pierce is interested in building a solid program that can compete year in and year out at an elite level.
“When you look at success, you have to look at how to identify that. Our expectations are great, but we have more than just one championship to strive to win. We are looking at five types of championships throughout the course of the year,” he said. “We look at that in the regular season title, the tournament championship, to advance to win an NCAA Regional, an (NCAA) Super Regional and the aspirations to advance to the College World Series to win the National Championship.”
As Tulane did with football and basketball, it is offering multiple season ticket plans including several new programs.