Feb. 17, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Junior second baseman Brad Emaus hammered a pair of home runs while junior shortstop Cat Everett and sophomore third baseman Seth Henry tallied four hits apiece as the Tulane University baseball team defeated North Florida, 20-5, in game two of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
The Green Wave plated 12 runs in the third inning and tied a season-high with 18 hits on the day, including a trio of home runs, two doubles and a triple. With the win, Tulane (3-2) clinched the series over the Ospreys (0-6) and has a chance to play for the sweep on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
"It was just one of those games," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "That's why you play them because you never know which way it's going to go. I really liked the way our offense responded early today. We had some quality at bats early and we just kept stretching the lead."
UNF opened the game with a run in the first inning, but Tulane answered with four in the second, a dozen in the third, and four more over the fourth and fifth innings. Emaus tallied a season-best four RBI on the day, including a three-run bomb in Tulane's big inning, and junior designated hitter Sean Morgan tied him for team-high honors on the strength of an RBI-scoring grounder and a three-run double.
Lost in the Tulane's offensive fireworks was the performance of starter Brandon Gomes (1-1), who allowed two runs on four hits in 5.0 solid innings to pick up the win. Fifth-year senior Matt Goebel tossed three scoreless frames of relief to keep UNF at arm's reach for the rest of the outing.
"I felt good," Gomes said. "Obviously, when you have that kind of run support, that would help anybody out. When (the team) plays good defense and puts together solid at-bats, that makes my job easier."
UNF left fielder T.J. Thompson opened the game with a bloop single to left and centerfielder Damon Olinto drove him in two hitters later on an RBI-double to right to give the Ospreys a 1-0 advantage.
The lead would be short lived, however, as Emaus sparked a four-run second with a leadoff homer - his first round-tripper of the season. Sophomore centerfielder Aja Barto gave Tulane the lead for good with a run-scoring triple to dead center, Morgan made it a two-run game with an RBI-grounder and Henry closed out the frame with a solo home run to left.
Tulane blew the game open an inning later as the Green Wave sent 16 players to the plate, tallied seven hits, drew five walks and took advantage of an Ospreys' error. The first five batters of the frame all reached base, including a three-run homer to left center by Emaus. Following a sacrifice bunt by Morgan and a walk by sophomore catcher Jared Dyer, the next four Green Wave hitters tallied RBI to make it an 11-1 affair.
Senior first baseman Tim Guidry, who went 3-for-4 on Saturday, kept the scoring onslaught going with a two-run single to right central, and Morgan put the finishing touches on the 12-run frame with a bases-clearing double to left.
"We were just hitting the ball all over the place," Emaus said. "You can't ask for more then that. As a hitter, it's a contagious thing to be able to hit. Once one guy starts doing it and then another, it just keeps coming."
Everett, and sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden posted RBI in the fourth on a single and a sacrifice fly, respectively, and Tulane took advantage of a throwing error to plate another run in the inning. Everett closed out the Green Wave scoring with a deep sacrifice fly to center one stanza later.
UNF did not go away quietly, however, as the Osprey plated three runs on a two-out double by reserve catcher Brandon Diaz in the ninth. Tulane's lead proved to be too big to overcome, however, as rookie right-hander Taylor Rogers got Thompson to fly out to center to end the game and spark the Tulane celebration.
UNF used five pitchers on the day, and only submariner Mike Bottlieb - the last man out of the bullpen - was able to keep the Green Wave off the scoreboard. Starter Tyler Storh (0-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in two-plus innings of work.
Following Sunday's series finale against the Ospreys, Tulane returns to action on Friday, Feb. 23, when they travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to open a three-game weekend slate against Southern Cal.
Season tickets for Tulane baseball remain for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office and can be picked up in person on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center, via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or over the phone at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.