March 11, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Golden Eagles shortstop Tim Torres hit a pair of home runs, including the last of three bombs in a seven-run ninth, as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 13-6 decision to Oral Roberts Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
Redshirt-freshman Stephen Porlier tossed 5.0 scoreless innings for the Green Wave (11-6), striking out a career-best nine and walking one while scattering four hits, but with him out of the game, ORU (10-4) exploded for six hits - including three round trippers - in the top of the ninth to even the series at one game apiece. The two teams close out the weekend with the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"This is certainly a disappointing day," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "It feels like we wasted a really good performance by Stephen Porlier. It was a heck of a ballgame for eight innings, but you've got to give credit to Oral Roberts. They got out of two bases-loaded jams, and they really did a good job of swinging the bat late.
"I don't think the story is our bullpen. I thought we had some opportunities early and we didn't cash in. You can't count on the same thing every day. You're going to have a day when your bullpen is not going to be as good, and you have to score when that happens. We just didn't do that."
Tulane jumped ahead early with three runs in the first off Oral Roberts's starter Taylor McIntyre, but Torres ignited a five-run second with a leadoff bomb in to stake the Golden Eagles to a 5-3 advantage. ORU added a run in the third on an RBI-double by left fielder Pat Warfle - who went 4-for-4 with three doubles, three RBI and a sacrifice bunt - but the combination of Porlier's arm and Tulane's bats allowed the Green Wave to creep back into the game.
Tulane got a pair of runs in the third on an RBI-single by junior first baseman Mark Hamilton and a sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Tim Guidry, and Hamilton tied the game one inning later with a bases-loaded walk.
Porlier struck out designated hitter Brian Aguilar for the second out of the stanza, and from there, Tulane brought in junior right-hander Daniel Latham (1-2), who had not allowed a run in his last six outings. Latham walked the bases loaded, but got Torres to ground out to first to keep the game knotted at 6-all.
Oral Roberts' reliever Erik Crichton (1-0), who came on with two on and nobody out in the fourth, retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth, and catcher Andy Bouchie ripped the third pitch he saw from Latham way over the wall in left field for what proved to be the winning run.
Tulane used four pitchers in the ninth, but that did not stop the Golden Eagles from belting three home runs in the game-deciding frame as Aguilar hammered a two-run bomb and Torres clubbed a solo shot with two away to account for the final score.
The Green Wave had chances to break the 6-6 deadlock a couple of times as Tulane had bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth and had leadoff singles in both the fifth and sixth innings. Hamilton's walk, however, would be the only run allowed as Crichton scattered just three singles and three walks in his 5.0 innings toeing the rubber while striking out four to earn his first win of the year.
Following Sunday's series finale, Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, March 14, when the Green Wave play host to Nicholls State 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.