March 2, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane baseball found themselves on the right side of a one-run contest on Sunday, as sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon laced a walk-off RBI-single into right field in the bottom of the tenth to give the Green Wave a 6-5 victory over Sacred Heart at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
With the score tied at five heading into the bottom of the tenth, Tulane (8-2) freshman third baseman Hunter Hope was struck out by Sacred Heart (1-1) pitcher Jesus Medina, but reached on a wild pitch. Sophomore outfielder Tim Yandel was intentionally walked with one out after senior first baseman moved Hope to second on a groundout. Freshman pinch-hitter Hunter Williams was drilled in the batting helmet by an errant pitch from Medina (0-1) to load the bases, and freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais attempted to put a ground ball past Sacred Heart's third baseman Keith Klebart, who was able to get the force out on Hope at home plate. However, Carthon stepped to the dish and delivered a two-strike hit into right field to bring Yandel home to give Tulane the 6-5 victory.
"I thought we might have missed our chance there when Stephen rolled over a ball to get the ground ball out at third," stated Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "But we got a good at-bat from Richard Carthon with two strikes and two outs."
Tulane dropped the series-opener by a score of 3-2 on Saturday afternoon, but they got stellar pitching performances from both redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc and redshirt senior Kyle McKenzie on Sunday. Each pitcher tied a career-high in strikeouts as they both fanned eight on the day. Between the two of them, they only issued one walk.
Four Tulane hitters collected two hits on the day, as Carthon, freshman catcher Jake Rogers, senior designated hitter and Hope all posted two hits apiece. Rogers added two runs, while junior second baseman Garrett Deschamp, Woodson and Alemais all had one hit each.
Tulane got on the board first in the bottom of the initial frame, as the Green Wave were able to get to Sacred Heart starting pitcher Nick Leiningen. Carthon was plunked on the arm to start the contest, and he subsequently stole second base before moving to third on a ground out. Deschamp brought him home for the game's first run on an RBI-single.
The Green Wave added two runs in the third. Alemais led off with a double to center field shortly before advancing 90 feet on a balk from Leiningen. Carthon posted a sacrifice fly to score Alemais to go up two runs. Rogers reached on a single, and Garner notched an RBI-double down the left field line to score Rogers from first.
LeBlanc was dealing through the first four innings, as he gave up just three hits to that point. In the top of the fifth, however, he got into a bit of trouble, as he allowed three consecutive singles to Klebart, Kenny Byram and Ted Shaw to load the bases with just one out. Victor Sorrento cut Tulane's lead to just one with one swing of the bat, as he laced a two-run single. LeBlanc then walked the lone Sacred Heart batter of the game to reload the bases before getting another out on a line drive. Unfortunately, Hope was unable to tag up Shaw at third base, as he was too far off the bag. With two outs, Derick Horn singled into right field to score two more runs before he was thrown out trying to stretch his single to extra bases.
Down 4-3, Tulane scored twice in the bottom of the seventh as both Rogers and Deschamp were plunked by sidearm reliever James Cooksey. Hope - who stretched his current hitting streak to nine games - blasted a two-run double to the wall to allow Tulane to retake the lead, 5-4.
McKenzie (1-0), who came in during the top of the sixth, allowed one run - his first of the year - in the contest in the top of the eighth as Zack Short singled and scored on an RBI-single from Horn, but was otherwise perfect in his third appearance of the year. He retired the next eight batters to give his team a chance to win the game at the plate.
LeBlanc allowed four runs in 5.0 innings of work for his first earned runs of the year, while allowing eight hits.
The rubber match of the series will be at 1pm CT on Monday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The game will be broadcast on 88.3 FM WRBH, as well as to All-Access pass holders at TulaneGreenWave.com. Live stats will be made available on GameTracker.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.