March 10, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Sophomore centerfielder Aja Barto went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 7-3 decision to Loyola Marymount in game two of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
Nine of the Lions' 12 hits and all seven of their runs came with two away, and LMU's top five hitters combined to go 10-for-22 with three doubles, a home run and seven RBI. Starting pitcher Daniel Macias (2-2) did his part, fanning four and scattering seven hits over 7.1 frames to pick up his second win of the year.
A two-out error by the Green Wave in the sixth led to three unearned runs as LMU took a 7-2 advantage. Barto's solo homer in the seventh cut the lead to four, and the Green Wave had chances to continue chipping away in the final two frames. Tulane had runners on the corners with two away in the eight and loaded the bases with only one out in the ninth, but Lions' bullpen was able to pitch them out of danger each time.
"We just didn't play as well today as we've been playing in any phase," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We didn't get out of the gate on the mound as well as we wanted to. We had a key error with two outs that led to three runs. We didn't have as many good at-bats with runners on as we needed to, especially late.
"It was one of those days. We've been playing well for a while now, but today, it was not good enough against a really good club."
Macias retired the first seven batters he faced before senior catcher Ty Wallace hit a one-out single to center field with one out in the third. But that time, however, Macias had been staked to a 3-0 advantage as first baseman Brian Wilson hit an RBI double to plate right fielder Angelo Songco in the first and designated hitter Sean Doval belted a two-run homer in the third.
The Lions tacked on another run in the top of the fourth when second baseman Eric Farris doubled home shortstop Michael Glomb, but the Green Wave made it a ballgame in the home half of the frame. With one on and two away, senior first baseman Tim Guidry, sophomore designated hitter Nate Simon and Barto hit consecutive singles to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
Following a scoreless fifth, Loyola Marymount blew the game open courtesy of a Tulane error in the top of the sixth. Freshman reliever Drew Zizinia appeared to retire the side in order as he got the first two batters on a groundout and a fly ball and induced an two-hop grounder to first off the bat of LMU catcher T.J. Bernardi for the apparent third out.
Guidry fielded the ball cleanly and made a good toss to first, but Zizinia couldn't handle the ball cleanly and Bernardi reached safely. With an extra out, the Lions posted three consecutive hits, including an RBI single by Farris and a two-run double by centerfielder DeAndre Miller to make it a four-run ballgame.
Pitching with a comfortable lead, Macias retired the side in order in the sixth and shook off a one-out, solo homer by Barto in the seventh to retire the final two batters of the stanza.
Sophomore left fielder Anthony Scelfo got something going for the Wave with a leadoff double in the eighth, but Xavier Esquivel came on with one out and Scelfo at third to get the Lions out of the inning unscathed.
Andy Beal came out of the bullpen to start the ninth , but Simon drew a leadoff walk, Barto followed with a single and sophomore third baseman Seth Henry blooped a one-out single to shallow center to load the bases. Beal, however, bounced back to strikeout the final two batters he faced to get out of the game and tie the series at one game apiece.
"I thought (Macias) did a really good job," Jones said. "He was a complete change of look from what we saw last night. Last night we saw a hard thrower with a good slider. Today, we got a lefty who really knows how to throw the change-up and turned the ball over and kept us off balance. It took us a while to adjust and when we got in RBI situations, he really did a good job of making his pitches."
Following Sunday's series finale, Tulane continues its 12-game homestand on Tuesday with game one of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup series vs. cross-town foe UNO on Tuesday and will play host to Siena in a weekend series beginning on Friday, March 16.
For ticket information for Sunday's finale, 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.