March 14, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Senior left fielder Matt Riser went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 7-4 decision to Nicholls State Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.
Colonel starter Nick Augustavo (1-1) went 7.0 strong innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out one. Chris Greer tossed the final two frames for Nicholls, and despite pitching himself into a couple of jams, got outs when he needed them to earn his first save of the season.
"This is a disappointing loss," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We're not mature enough at this point to play up to our ability. Nicholls out-played us, bottom line."
With the loss, Tulane falls to 12-7 on the year. Tuesday's three-run decision snapped the Green Wave's a 13-game winning streak over Nicholls State as Tulane dropped its first game to the Colonels since a 9-8 decision on Feb. 22, 2000. Nicholls State, meanwhile, improves to 5-14.
Both teams tallied 10 hits apiece on the night, but it was the Colonels who got clutch knocks when they needed them as six of Nicholls State's hits came with two outs which led to four runs. Tulane also allowed a two-out run in the ninth via an error which accounted for the final score.
The Colonels drew first blood in the top of the second as designated hitter Jason Sullivan grounded into a 5-3 putout to score catcher Jose Higuera from third. Tulane answered in the home half of the frame, though, as freshman designated hitter Anthony Scelfo sparked a two-out rally with a single before Riser ripped a double to the gap in right central to tie things up.
Freshman third baseman Seth Henry followed with an RBI-single up the middle to give the Green Wave a 2-1 lead, and Tulane padded its lead one inning later on a two-out RBI single off the bat of redshirt-freshman right fielder Warren McFadden to make it a two-run ballgame.
After a scoreless sixth, the Colonels got back on the scoreboard in the seventh courtesy of a sacrifice fly by right fielder Michael Roberts to push the advantage to three.
While the Colonel offense was getting the job done, Augustavo settled down to face just two more than the minimum over the next four innings before giving way to Greer.
Tulane made things interesting in the eighth as junior first baseman Mark Hamilton and McFadden hit back-to-back singles to open the stanza, but Greer got Scelfo to bounce into a double play. Riser followed with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield, and Henry ripped a double down the first-base line in the ensuing at-bat to bring the go-ahead run to the plate.
Greer responded with a routine grounder to get out of the inning without any more damage done, and Nicholls State got the run back in the top of the ninth when Roberts hit into a two-out error which scored centerfielder Brett Maurin from third. Tulane put the leadoff man on base in the home half of the frame, but Greer recorded outs to the next three men he faced to break the Colonels six-year drought.
Junior right hander Matt Goebel (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in the fifth. Green Wave starter Jonathan Garrett pitched admirably for Tulane, giving up three runs on four hits through 4.0 frames, and senior right-hander Billy Mohl allowed a run on two hits while striking out three in the sixth and seventh innings. Rookie Nathan Newman tossed the final two frames for the Green Wave, allowing an unearned run on two hits while fanning three.
Tulane returns to action on Friday, March 17, when the Green Wave open a three-game series vs. South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday's game will be played at Zephyr Field, but Sunday's finale is slated for Mobile, Ala. 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.