That term — which means “on fire” in English — was popularized by sports personality Dan Patrick back in the 1990’s, and it applies to the red-hot AAC Champion Tulane Green Wave baseball team at the current moment.
The Green Wave went into the AAC Conference Tournament last night in its match-up against Central Florida ranked as the #1 seed; and after falling behind early by a 3-0 deficit, Tulane rallied behind an RBI-single by Jake Rogers in the bottom of the 6th inning to pull out a 4-3 victory.
Jeremy Montalbano gave the Green Wave a 4-3 lead on an RBI-ground-rule double in the bottom of the seventh, and Corey Merrill fanned three over the final 2.1 innings for the victory.
They will play Houston on Thursday at 2 pm CDT to see if they can keep the hot streak going, against the same Cougars team that they defeated for the regular season title over a week ago.
Tulane won its first conference title since 2005. The Green Wave have a legitimate chance to get back to the College World Series and make believers of people wondering if this success will be short lived.
Tulane is also ranked up to #14 in one poll and near #20 in other polls. There is no doubt expectations are rising with every single game they win.
This rise in the sport of baseball in the 2016 season among Louisiana Division I programs is significant for not only Tulane and New Orleans, but for the overall resurgence of college baseball in Louisiana as a whole.
Tulane opens their 2016 season with a a walk off three run homerun in the 10th inning to down Illinois, 6-5. (Photo courtesy of Tulane University Athletics)
As of now, there are a total of at least five Louisiana teams currently being projected to be in the NCAA tournament regionals .
Currently LSU, Tulane, and Louisiana Lafayette should be locks to make it in. Louisiana Tech and Southeastern are two others that have a pretty decent chance to make it there as well.
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Even if four of the five make it in, the bigger point is that the sport of baseball could start to explode here within NOLA and the entire region of southeastern Louisiana .
Additionally, after several losing seasons the University of New Orleans also has totally exceeded expectations with a winning season; which no doubt cements the fact that college baseball is hot right now in the whole state.
Tulane is still hoping to host a regional if they can keep winning. If Tulane and LSU both host, that would literally blow the top off of fan interest locally.
Furthermore, it would serve to make Louisiana a hot spot for college baseball years to come, especially if any one of the teams can make a run in the College World Series.
Photo courtesy of Tulane Athletic Department
As for Tulane though, this success could catapult confidence into other programs like football and basketball for future recruiting.
Having your name out there in the national media is no doubt the best advertising that a school can ask for.
Especially when you’re “en fuego”……