Tulane's J.P. France (Aaron Fitt)


Tulane Embraces Clean Slate


NEW ORLEANS — Starting the season 3-12 is a whole lot better than finishing it 3-12. In college baseball, every game matters, but there’s a clear delineation between the preconference part of the schedule and conference play. So after losing two of three at home to Stetson last weekend to fall to 9-15 on the year, Tulane got a fresh start. Its American Athletic Conference-opening series against South Florida this weekend represented the start of a new season.

“Starting conference right now, we basically took it as a clean slate, forget everything that happened,” fourth-year junior righthander J.P. France said. “Conference is starting up, and we’ve got a clean slate to do amazing things in conference like we did last year.”

Tulane started the week with a big 7-6 road victory at rival LSU, and it carried that momentum into the first two games of this series against a USF club that was 23-4 in the preconference. The Green Wave won Friday’s series opener 6-4 behind a strong start from senior Corey Merrill, and then they turned to their other veteran bulldog to try to clinch the series Saturday. France was in need of a clean slate of his own after starting the season a disappointing 1-3, 5.50, and he took full advantage of that opportunity on Saturday, holding USF two two runs over a career-long 8 1/3 innings to lead the Green Wave to a huge 4-3 victory.

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