Senior centerfielder Nathan Southard was 3-for-5 with a stolen base Friday vs. Pepperdine.
Feb. 24, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Senior centerfielder Nathan Southard tallied three hits and a stolen base, and sophomore right-hander Trey Martin pitched three solid innings of relief, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 6-2 series-opening contest to No. 9 Pepperdine Friday evening at Zephyr Field.
The Green Wave stranded 12 men on base, including nine in scoring position, and hit into a season-high three double plays. Tulane had several opportunities to post big innings against the Waves, but left runners on the corners in the third, two in scoring position in the fourth and bases loaded in the fifth.
The loss snapped Tulane's seven-game winning streak as the Green Wave fall to 7-2 on the year. Pepperdine, meanwhile, improves to 7-5 in 2006.
"We just left too many guys on," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "It was one of those nights where we just didn't come up with the big hit early. Pepperdine is a really talented club and a veteran club, and they had some real good two-strike at-bats and did a good job of stretching the lead late."
The Waves wasted little time getting on the board as second baseman David Uribes singled to open the contest and centerfielder Luke Salas walked in the ensuing plate appearance. A balk by Tulane starter Brandon Gomes moved the pair into scoring position, and a Pepperdine capitalized with an RBI-groundout by right fielder Donald Brown, a run-scoring double by shortstop Danny Worth and an RBI-grounder off the bat of designated hitter Michael Beattie to make it 3-0.
Tulane put some early pressure on Pepperdine starter Paul Coleman in the home half of the frame, loading the bases on a single by Southard and walks by shortstop Cat Everett and second baseman Brad Emaus with nobody out. Coleman, however, got out of the jam with minimal damage on the scoreboard with a double-play ball and a strikeout to make it 3-1 after the first.
Coleman flirted with disaster during much of his six innings on the mound, but found ways to get out of it almost every time. The score remained 3-1 through four and a half frames, but Tulane took advantage of a pair of two-out miscues by the Pepperdine defense to scratch across an unearned run courtesy of an RBI single by rookie right fielder Warren McFadden. The Waves' southpaw faced a bases-loaded situation later in the inning after walking junior designated hitter Tim Guidry, but got a foul ball popup to escape the inning without any further damage done.
Coleman retired the side in order in the seventh, and handed the ball to right-hander James Johnson for the final three frames. Johnson faced just one more than the minimum in his first two innings on the hill, and Tulane had runners on the corners in the ninth before Johnson's fifth strikeout of the day ended the ballgame.
Gomes settled down after the three-run first and kept Pepperdine off the board over the next four innings. But with two outs in the sixth, Waves first baseman Matt Adam sparked a rally with a single, and after a base hit by third baseman Chase d'Arnaud, nine-hole hitter Brandon Dagio delivered a clutch, two-run double to right central to make it a 5-2 contest.
Pepperdine added an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI-single by Salas, and Johnson pitched his way out of trouble in the home half of the inning to put the finishing touches on the ballgame.
The game, however, belonged to Coleman, who struck out and allowed just one earned run while scattering seven hits and five walks to improve to 2-0. Johnson, meanwhile, earned the Waves' first save of the year with three scoreless innings where he fanned five while giving up four hits and no walks.
Gomes (1-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out five and walking a pair in a 6.0-inning start. Martin was good again out of the bullpen, allowing just one run on two hits with one strikeout and no walks in three frames of relief.
Tulane and Pepperdine continue the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. and are slated to close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-247-1240. The on-campus ticket office is currently located in the lobby of Fogelman Arena, and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket office at Zephyr Field is located on the third base side, and opens two hours before every game for all Tulane home games. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.