Freshman Hunter Hope notched his first career home run on Saturday at Louisiana Tech
Feb. 22, 2014
RUSTON, La. - For the third consecutive game, Tulane has scored double-digit runs, as Tulane trounced Louisiana Tech, 16-3, at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston, La., on Saturday afternoon behind the bats of freshman Hunter Hope and junior Garrett Deschamp.
Tulane (6-0, 2-0) scored early and often against the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-2), as Tulane scored four in the first inning, two in the second, five in the third and four in the sixth to put LA Tech away early. Tulane added a run in the ninth inning.
Hope got things started for the Green Wave as he blasted a three-run shot in the top of the first, his first as a collegiate athlete. On the day, the Jupiter, Fla. native, went 4-for-6 with two runs and four RBI. He was only overshadowed at the dish by Deschamp, who hit his first home run on Friday night. Deschamp went 4-for-5 on Saturday with two runs and six RBI, running his weekend total to nine.
In addition to the solid performances at the plate, Tulane got a phenomenal start out of redshirt junior righty Randy LeBlanc. Making his second consecutive Saturday start, LeBlanc (2-0) picked up the win after going 7.0 innings while striking out six and walking just two.
"Randy was really good today, and it helps that we came out and set the tone in the first with four runs," said Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones. "Randy gave us a heck of a performance. If we had taken care of the baseball in the third inning, we may have not given up any. We had so many guys have big days at the plate."
Jones is alluding to the bottom of the third inning when the Tulane infield made an error with two outs and a runner on first. With runners at the corners, LeBlanc walked a batter to load the bags before LA Tech's Tyler Ervine laced a bases-clearing double to score three.
However, that was the only offensive output from the Bulldogs on the day, while Tulane had one of their best performances in recent memory.
Sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon got things rolling for the Green Wave at the top of the first when he laced a double down the left field line. He came home to score on a single by Deschamp after senior designated hitter Andrew Garner singled. With two runners on, Hope picked up his first career round-tripper.
In the next inning, Carthon doubled again, and freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais walked. Both came home on a double from Deschamp. After those two runs scored, LA Tech pulled their starter, lefty Luke Giddens, who only went 1.2 innings, while giving up six earned runs and six hits. Giddens (0-2) was credited with the loss.
The onslaught continued in the third when reliever Mark Baughman walked Woodson before junior outfielder John Gandolfo singled to move Woodson to second. Catcher Jake Rogers singled off the calf of Baughman that loaded the bases before Carthon walked to score Woodson. Alemais knocked Gandolfo in on a sacrifice fly and Deschamp collected another couple of RBI with a single.
After a few quiet innings, Tulane got back on the board again in the sixth when Deschamp singled and Hope doubled. Woodson tacked on a single to score Deschamp from third. Freshman Lex Kaplan pinch hit for Gandolfo and poked a single into right field to score Hope. Freshman Grant Brown, who made his first career start, got his first career hit and RBI in the frame, scoring Woodson on a shot up the middle. Rogers scored Kaplan on a sacrifice fly for the final run of the inning.
In the ninth, Deschamp added to his RBI total with a sacrifice fly to score Jake Willsey, who came on as a pinch hitter earlier in the inning.
"We had some really good at-bats with two-strikes and really good at-bats with runners on," mentioned Jones. "We just hit the ball on the button today. We had so many guys have big days at the plate."
The Green Wave have scored double digits in their last three contests, marking the first time the program has done so since the 2008 campaign. They opened the series with a 12 run performance on Saturday, while closing out Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday with 11 runs. On March 30, 2008, Tulane defeated UAB 12-10 in Birmingham, and followed those two performances up with a 10-3 victory against McNeese State and an 11-2 win over Nicholls State.
With the victory, Tulane moves to 6-0 for the first time to start a season since 2005, when Tulane last made an appearance in the College World Series.
The Green Wave will return to J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park for the series-finale against LA Tech on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1pm CT. The game will be broadcast on 88.3 FM WRBH.
Tulane will send redshirt sophomore Alex Massey to the hill on Sunday. Massey will make his first start since the 2012 season. Last weekend, the Baton Rouge, La., native appeared out of the bullpen and picked up a win in 3.0 innings of work, striking out five and walking three. Massey will be up against senior righty Richie Navari, who started one game last weekend against Southeastern Louisiana, getting a no-decision in 5.0 innings.
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