March 7, 2006
BATON ROUGE, La. - It was a matchup between two of the nation's premier programs. The crowd was electric and the players gave the 7,871 on hand more than their money's worth. But in the end, the Tulane University baseball team found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-3 decision to arch-rival LSU Tuesday evening at Alex Box Stadium.
With the score knotted at 3-all going into the bottom of the eighth, Tigers' centerfielder ripped a leadoff single to left, advanced the bases on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Michael Hollander and a base hit by designated hitter J.T. Wise, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of left fielder Steven Waguespack to account for the final score. With the loss, the Green Wave fall to 10-5 on the year. LSU, meanwhile, improves to 14-2 in 2006. The 4-3 decision marked the first time since 2003 that Tulane dropped a regular-season game at Alex Box Stadium, and snaps a streak of 13 victories against in-state opponents.
"You've got to give credit to Waguespack," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "He battled and battled, and when he finally got a pitch he could handle, he got it into the outfield. We're a little young and banged up, and that shows up more offensively, and that was the case again tonight."
Tulane tallied eight hits on the day, including two by senior centerfielder Nathan Southard and a two-run homer by sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus, but the Green Wave stranded nine men on base and was just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The Green Wave drew first blood in the third when Southard doubled and scored on Emaus' two-run shot into the left field bleachers. The 2-0 lead held through five, but in the sixth, Hollander and Wise crushed back-to-back home runs to stake LSU to a 3-2 advantage. Sprowl sparked a three-run sixth with a leadoff single before Holander and Wise went yard.
Waguespack followed with a single for the fourth consecutive hit of the inning, but got thrown out at second trying to catch the Tulane defense napping, and Tulane starter Brandon Gomes (1-2) retired the next two men he faced to get out of the inning without any more damage done.
Emaus reached on a one-out error by Tigers' third baseman Will Harris, and following a single to right off the bat of junior first baseman Mark Hamilton, redshirt-freshman Warren McFadden hit a tailor-made double play ball to short that should have ended the inning. Hollander, however, had the ball skip off the heel of his glove and Emaus was able to score on the play all the way from second to tie the game and set up the game deciding frame.
Sprowl's single and Hollander's sacrifice chased Gomes from the game, and Tulane brought in junior right-hander Daniel Latham from the bullpen. Latham and White battled through an eight-pitch at-bat, and White won with an infield single to short that did not draw a throw from Green Wave six-man Cat Everett.
The single advanced Sprowl to third, and after fighting off eight pitches, Waguespack lifted a fly ball to center that was deep enough to allow the go-ahead run to score.
Tulane returns to action on Friday, March 10, when the Green Wave open a three-game series vs. Oral Roberts at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-247-1240. The Ticket Office is currently located in the lobby of Fogelman Arena, and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.