March 7, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Junior second baseman Brad Emaus hit an RBI-single up the middle to score sophomore left fielder Anthony Scelfo from second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Tulane University baseball team defeated UNC-Asheville, 6-5, Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.
With the score knotted at 5-all after eight and half innings, Scelfo drew a one out walk and advanced to second on a hit-and-run groundout by junior shortstop Cat Everett. Bulldogs head coach Willie Stewart decided to intentionally walk Green Wave three-hole hitter Warren McFadden, but Emaus made the move backfire by ripping a 3-2 offering from reliever Josh Lett back up the box to send the crowd home happy.
"Cat Everett's effort on the hit and run was excellent, Brad Emaus put a good swing on it and Anthony Scelfo's slide at the plate was real, real key," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "The slide is what made him safe. That's something we work on and it's something he executed very well."
UNC-Asheville out-hit the Green Wave, 10-7, but it would be Tulane that got the hits when they counted as all six runs scored with two outs. Tulane also got solid relief performances from bullpen arms Drew Zizinia, Aaron Loup and Daniel Latham.
Zizinia gave up just one run on one hit over 2.0 innings, Loup scattered three hits in 2.1 scoreless frames and Latham (1-0) earned the win after pitching his way around a leadoff error in the top of the ninth to set up the Green Wave's offensive heroics in the bottom of the inning.
"I thought UNC-Asheville played as well as they could possibly play," Jones said. "They out-hit us, I thought they pitched well, and they used some of their front-line guys. They also made great two-strike adjustments at the plate. We didn't play as well as we wanted to but we played well enough to win."
After three scoreless innings, UNC-Asheville appeared to break open the game in the top of the fourth as six of the Bulldogs' 10 hits came in the stanza. Designated hitter Edmond Locklear opened the scoring with an RBI grounder, third baseman Justin Schumer made it a 2-0 affair with a RBI-single and first baseman Steve Burnich put the finishing touches on a four-run frame with a two-run hit through the left side of the infield.
Bulldogs' starter Ben Buchanan appeared to wiggle out of a two-on, two out jam, but sophomore centerfielder Aja Barto came through with a two-run single to center to cut the lead in half. In the ensuing at-bat, junior designated hitter Sean Morgan made it a brand new ballgame with a towering two-run homer to right center to tie the game at 4-all.
A leadoff walk by Schmur in the sixth came around to score to give UNC-Asheville a one-run lead, but sophomore third baseman Seth Henry followed suit with a leadoff walk in the seventh, advanced the bases on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, and on McFadden's sacrifice fly to tie the score at 5-5.
One of four UNC-Asheville pitchers used on the day, Lett (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing a run on one hit and two walks while striking out one in two-thirds of an inning of work.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, March 9, when they open a three-game weekend series against Loyola Marymount at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. Friday's contest is the sixth of a 12-game home stand as Tulane will play the Lions again on Saturday and Sunday, battle cross-town foe UNO in game one of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup on Tuesday, March 13, and take on Siena in a three-game weekend slate beginning on Friday, March 13.
For ticket information for this weekend's games, as well as future Green Wave athletic events, please contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.