(WVUE) - The challenges going into the 2018 are clear for Tulane baseball. They'll have to replace seven of their top 10 hitters, and 63 out of their 70 home runs from a year ago.
"We certainly don't have that kind of power sitting in here right now. But I don't know if that power was there for them when they were a younger group either. I think it develops through learning how to hit, strength, maturity, all those types of things," said Tulane Head Coach Travis Jewett.
"It's not just one-sided, all power or all small ball. We can do a little bit of both," said shortstop Sal Gozzo. "Coach Jewett wants to steal a lot. He wants to do a lot of hit and runs. We have a couple of guys who can hit the ball for extra base hits and a couple of power guys that can help too. I think that we can hit all of the facets of the game."
Not only will returning starters like Sal Gozzo and Grant Witherspoon be relied on to steady the lineup, but for their leadership as well. Coach Jewett says he has no doubt they'll answer the challenge.
"I see how they engage in their teammates. So I don't think it should be any pressure. I do think when you fall on the upper end of your team's best player category, or top third, or whatever you want to say, those are some responsibilities that sometimes come with it," said Jewett.
"I try to lead by example everyday. I try to come to early work and get my ground balls in. I try to get the other guys to do so because defense wins ball games. That's what I've always been taught. And that's what coach Jewett tries to instill in us too," said Gozzo.
Given their inexperience, there will be challenges.. but with a new year comes new optimism.. and plenty of new players to begin their own legacies at Turchin Stadium.