Junior right-hander Sean Morgan tied a career high with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game effort during Tulane's 4-1 win over Loyola Marymount.
March 9, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Junior right-hander Sean Morgan tied a career high with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game effort and the Green Wave got home runs from senior first baseman Tim Guidry and sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Loyola Marymount, 4-1, Friday evening at Zephyr Field.
Morgan (4-1) threw an even 100 pitches on the day and struck out at least one batter in all nine innings. It was the second complete-game outing of his career and matched his K total from his last CG - a 9-1 win over Stephen F. Austin last April 21. With the win, Tulane runs its winning streak to eight in a row and improves to 12-4 on the year. Loyola Marymount, meanwhile, saw its four-game winning streak snapped as the Lions fall to 8-12-1.
"Sean Morgan gave one of the greatest performances that I've seen," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "When you strike out 13, walk none and throw 100 pitches in a complete game against an outstanding West Coast club, you have to have great stuff and great command. He had both from the first pitch to the last pitch. That was exciting to watch."
Morgan scattered a pair of singles and had faced just one more than the minimum over the first four innings, but a leadoff double by LMU catcher Sean Dovel in the fifth led to the game's first run. Lions' first baseman Brian Wilson moved Dovel to third on a sacrifice bunt and left fielder Marty Mullins drove him in with an RBI-single through the left side of a drawn-in infield in the ensuing at-bat.
From there, however, Morgan allowed just one hit and two baserunners the rest of the night. He sat the Lions down in order in the sixth, pitched his way around a one-out double in the seventh, struck out the side in the eighth and sandwiched a pair of punches around an infield popup to close out the game in the ninth.
"(Dovel's double) got my adrenalin pumping a lot," Morgan said. "When he hit the double, I had to refocus a little bit. I was cruising and kind of got comfortable. You can never get comfortable on the mound. You always have to stay focused for every pitch."
The Lions' lead did not last long as Guidry turned on a first-pitch offering from LMU starter Brad Meyers to start the home half of the fifth and sent it way over the wall in left to tie the game at 1-all. Morgan hung a goose egg in the top of the sixth, and his offense gave him the lead for good when junior shortstop Cat Everett hit a one-out single up the middle before McFadden belted a two-run homer to left central to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
"Early in the game, (Meyers) threw me fastballs and kept me honest with some sliders," McFadden said. "After Timmy jumped on that first-pitch fastball, he started mixing it up a little more. He came back with a slider on that second pitch and I just jumped on it."
Junior second baseman Brad Emaus accounted for the game's final run with a two-out RBI-single to shallow center to give Morgan a little breathing room. Morgan also got some help from a flawless defensive effort by Tulane, including a highlight-reel catch against the wall by sophomore Anthony Scelfo in left.
"I was tired in the beginning, so I thought it was going to be a long day," Morgan said. "The defense backed me up. Anthony made that unbelievable play and Cat got some balls up the middle. After that, I just settled down and kind of got in a groove and was pumping strikes."
Meyers (2-3) matched Morgan nearly pitch for pitch early on, but the two long balls proved to be his undoing. He finished the day with seven strikeout and no walks, but allowed all four runs on seven hits. The final run came while he was already in the dugout as reliever Mike Kenney gave up Emaus' RBI single in the eighth.
"(Meyers) pitched well, but obviously not well enough to win," Loyola Marymount head coach Frank Cruz said. "On Friday night, you've got to go toe-to-toe with their best guy. Their best guy only gave up one run, and that's what you have to do.
"We got dominated. I don't know if it was our offense or more of his pitching. He struck out (13) guys and made pitches when he had to."
Tulane and Loyola Marymount continue the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. and close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. 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.