Feb. 7, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan and junior first baseman Michael Aubrey each had two hits, and junior pitcher Cory Hahn struck out five in five scoreless innings of work, as the Tulane University baseball team defeated St. Joseph's 3-2 Friday evening at Turchin Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Each team tallied eight hits on the afternoon, but it was the Green Wave's pitching and defense that proved to be the difference as Hahn, freshman Matt Goebel and preseason All-Conference USA selection Joey Charron combined to tally seven strikeouts and just two walks. Tulane's defense, meanwhile, was flawless throughout the game, including a two-putout and four-assist ballgame by junior shortstop Tony Giarratano.
With sophomore second baseman Tommy Manzella on first base after a leadoff walk in the third, Kaplan showed bunt and fouled one off before ripping a line-drive over the wall in left to give the Green Wave a 2-0 lead.
The Green Wave appeared to take control of the contest in the fifth when Kaplan led off the frame with a single, advanced the bases on a steal and a flyout to center, and came around to score on a wild pitch by St. Joseph's starter Brian Anecharico to take 3-0 lead, but that would be all the runs Tulane would score as reliever Ryan Hoagey kept the home team off the scoreboard over the final 3.2 innings.
Tulane held its lead going into the ninth, but St. Joseph's refused to go away quietly and plated a pair of runs off with a two-out, two-RBI single off the bat of reserve catcher Greg Mason, but preseason Charron picked off pinch runner Bryan Brown in the ensuing play to seal the win and earn his first save of the year.
Then, in the eighth when the Hawks had runners on the corners with two out, Charron came on to strike out designated hitter John Kukol to end the threat. Things got hairy for Tulane in the ninth when the Hawks plated their two runs, but Charron's pickoff move ended the threat and the game.
Tulane and St. Joseph's will play the second of the schedule three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m .before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for noon.