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MLB Spring Training Opens with Nine Former Tulane Players in Camp

Claiborne, Prince and Segedin make their first spring training roster

NEW ORLEANS – Spring Training has opened in both Arizona and Florida for all thirty Major League Baseball teams, and nine former Green Wave baseball players are spread out amongst eight clubs, vying for a spot for Opening Day.

Josh Prince, Preston Claiborne and Rob Segedin are all making their spring training debuts, while Brian Bogusevic, Brandon Gomes, Mark Hamilton, Aaron Loup, Tommy Manzella and Micah Owings are all taking part in spring training as either a member of the active roster, or as non-roster invitees.

All of the aforementioned players have played under current Tulane head coach Rick Jones.

"A majority of these guys are from the 2005 squad," said Jones. "That tells you how talented of a club we had. I'm real proud of the fact that these guys had, not only the ability, but the drive to continue their careers."

Prince, who is in camp with the Milwaukee Brewers, played for the Green Wave in 2008 and 2009. He was drafted by the Brewers in the third round of the 2009 June Amateur Draft after leading Tulane with a .353 batting average. Since leaving the Uptown campus, Prince has made stops with four of Milwaukee's minor league affiliations - the Helena Brewers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Brevard County Manatees and the Huntsville Stars. In four years of minor league service, the Lake Charles, La., native has posted a .253 batting average, with 14 homers and 116 RBIs.

Claiborne will don the pinstripes of the New York Yankees this spring after being drafted by the 27-time World Series Champions in the 17th round of the 2010 draft. The Carrollton, Texas, native posted 163 strikeouts during 84 appearances out of the bullpen for the Green Wave from 2007-10. Claiborne has pitched 194.0 innings during three seasons – and four stops – of minor league baseball, including half a season of Triple A ball with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees in 2012. He holds a minor league career ERA of 2.97.

Segedin will join Claiborne in camp with the Yankees after spending the 2012 season with the Single A-advanced Tampa Yankees and the Double A Trenton Thunder. In 121 games last year, Segedin belted 10 homers with 54 RBIs while hitting .257. Segedin – a Ping! Baseball and American Baseball Coaches Association All American in 2010 – holds the second highest career batting average in Tulane history with a clip .373, thanks in part to batting .434 in 2010.

Bogusevic has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Houston Astros after being selected with the 24th overall pick by the team in 2005. In November, the Oak Lawn, Ill., native was granted free agency and signed with his hometown team, the Chicago Cubs. He will take part in training camp as a non-roster invitee – meaning he is not currently a member of the 40-man roster. In 252 career games with the Astros, Bogusevic batted .227 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs.

Gomes has appeared out of the bullpen for the Tampa Bay Rays for the last two seasons, making a total of 55 appearances. Originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007, Gomes was sent to the Sunshine State in 2010 as part of a package for All-Star shortstop Jason Bartlett. During his two seasons, Gomes has struck out 47 batters, while only walking 28. The Fall River, Mass., native posted a 24-15 record as a member of the Green Wave. His 51 starts as a pitcher is good for third place all-time in the Tulane record books.

Hamilton signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox this offseason that includes an invitation to spring training. In 2012, the first baseman spent the season with the Memphis Redbirds – the Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Hamilton played in 47 games with the big league club in 2010 and 2011 after a career at Tulane where he blasted 34 homers, including 20 in 2006. He was a second round selection of the Cardinals in 2006.

Loup appeared in 33 games out of the bullpen for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, striking out 21 and walking only two. The Boutte, La., native was promoted from Toronto's Double A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, midway through last year after posting an ERA of 2.78 in 45.1 innings. Loup was used out of the bullpen and as a starter while at Tulane, partly why he was selected by the Blue Jays in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. His control has always been one of his key attributes, as he only walked 42 batters in 140.1 innings during his tenure as a Greenie.

Manzella – an American Baseball Coaches Association All-American in 2005 – is attending spring training with the Colorado Rockies, his fifth organization since being a third round pick of the Astros in 2005. After spending most of the 2010 season with Houston, Manzella has made stops in the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Brewers and the Chicago White Sox organizations. One of the slickest fielders to don the Olive and Blue, Manzella signed a minor league contract with the Rockies this past fall. He holds a career batting average of .224 at the major league level.

Owings was recently signed by the Washington Nationals, where he will compete for a spot at first base. Last season, he appeared six times on the mound for the San Diego Padres, notching a 2.79 ERA with seven strikeouts. Owings – a third round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005 – spent 2007 and 2008 with the club that drafted him before being traded as the 'player to be named later' to the Cincinnati Reds in the deal for slugger Adam Dunn. He posted records of 7-12 and 3-2 for the Reds in 2009 and 2010, respectively, before returning to Arizona as a free agent prior to the 2011 season. In 2007 as a pitcher, he hit four home runs, earning him the 2007 National League Silver Slugger Award for the position. In his lone season with the Green Wave in 2005, Owings batted .359 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs – all tops on the team – as well as posting a 12-4 record on the mound. The 2005 squad was one of two Tulane teams to make the College World Series.

"I follow all of them with great interest, and I'm very proud of all of them," added Jones.

On March 31 – Opening Night - active MLB rosters will be trimmed to 25 players.

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