Feb. 22, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Green Wave bats pounded out 23 hits, including four by preseason All-American Michael Aubrey, and preseason Conference USA honoree Joey Charron picked up a pair of saves as the Tulane University baseball team swept a doubleheader from visiting Pepperdine, 6-3 and 7-3, Saturday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
The twinbill killing by Tulane clinched the home team's first series victory over the Waves as the home team improved to 7-1 on the year. The Green Wave will look to sweep the series against Pepperdine (3-3) on Sunday when the two teams close out the weekend with a 3:30 p.m. start.
Freshman Matt Goebel, who made his first career start in game one, picked up the win after allowing three runs - two earned - on seven hits while striking out four in 7.2 innings of work before giving way to Charron in the eighth to earn his first collegiate victory.
In game two, the Waves were able to chase Tulane starter Billy Mohl in the sixth when Pepperdine threatened to break open a 1-1 game with two on and only one away, but freshman Tyler Kimmons sandwiched two strikeouts around an intentional walk to get out of the inning unscathed and got his first career win with 3.0 solid innings of relief. Kimmons and the Green Wave ran into trouble in the ninth as the Waves threatened a comeback by scoring two runs and loading the bases with only one out, but Charron came on and struck out the next two Pepperdine batters to earn his second save of the day.
While the Tulane pitchers were getting it done on the mound, the Green Wave bats also did their part by hitting .371 against the highly touted Waves hurlers and hung 13 earned runs on the staff. Prior to their trip to New Orleans, Pepperdine had allowed just five earned runs and help opponents to a .206 batting average over their first four games.
Kaplan padded the lead in the third with a two-out, two-RBI single to center to make it 4-1 in favor of the home team, and Tulane plated another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by freshman right fielder Brian Bogusevic to score Giarratano.
Pepperdine cut the lead to three in the sixth courtesy of a Green Wave error, but Tulane got the run back in the seventh when Aubrey singled to center and kept the Waves' defense busy long enough to allow Giarratano to score from second to push the advantage to 6-2. The Waves tried to mount a comeback in the eighth when right fielder Cory Brightwell hit a two-out single and designated hitter Michael Beattie brought him around with an RBI double, but Charron came on to close out the inning and tossed a three-up, three-down ninth to give Tulane a 6-3 victory.
It was the Green Wave who got on the board first in game two when junior catcher Brian Bormaster led off the third with a single and came around to score on a two-out RBI single by Aubrey, but Pepperdine tied the game two innings later with an RBI-double by centerfielder Jason Durbin to score catcher Nelson Caraballo all the way from first.
After a scoreless sixth, freshman left fielder Nathan Southard singled off relief pitcher Derek Mills to open to the seventh, was replaced at first by pinch-runner Aaron Feldmann, and Manzella ripped a double to the gap in left center to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Pepperdine nearly escaped the frame unscathed, but with two away, Kaplan hit a double over the outstretched arm of right fielder Brightwell to give the Green Wave a 3-1 lead they would never relinquish.
Tulane broke the game open in the eighth when Bogusevic and sophomore designated hitter Wes Swackhamer hit back-to-back, one-out singles, and Manzella brought the pair home with a two-RBI double to give the home team a 5-1 advantage. The Green Wave added a pair of insurance runs in the inning when freshman third baseman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Kaplan hit an RBI groundout to make it 7-1 Tulane.
Things got hairy for home team in the top of the ninth when the Waves' first baseman Ty Harper and third baseman Patrick Rooney reached on a pair of infield singles, and Caraballo ripped an RBI double down the left field line to make it 6-2. Kimmons was lifted two batters later after a walk and a strikeout, and second baseman David Uribes drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to three. From there, Charron came on to retire Brightwell and designated hitter Michael Beattie via strikeout to end the threat and the game.
Following Sunday's series finale, Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 25 when they play host to Southeastern Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium. After the showdown with the Lions, Tulane travels to the West Coast where they will take on host Cal State Fullerton, UCLA and defending national champion Texas in the KIA Baseball Bash.