March 15, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Green Wave offense pounded out 15 hits - including home runs by Jared Dyer, Sam Honeck and Andrew Rodgers - and sophomore southpaw Aaron Loup struck out five in 7.0 shutout innings as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Oakland, 19-0, Saturday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
After failing to get out of the second inning last Saturday, Loup (1-1) put in several hours of work during the week and it paid off as the lefty from Luling, La., allowed just five singles and one walk to earn his first victory over the season. With the win, Tulane improves to 12-5 on the year. Oakland, meanwhile, falls to 2-8.
"He was more aggressive and his mechanics were more sound," Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones said of Loup. "He put in a lot of mound work over the last few days. After the first inning, he really settled in. His breaking ball is still not as consistent as it has been, needs to be and will be, but I thought today was a major step in the right direction."
While Loup was sitting the Grizzlies down, his offense gave him plenty of run support to work with. Dyer hit a solo homer with one out in the first and the Green Wave erupted for four runs on five hits in the second to spark the one-sided victory.
Dyer and Honeck led all players with three hits apiece while Rodgers and junior right fielder Scott Powell had two each. Honeck, who homered as part of a four-run fifth inning, finished with a game-best four RBI while Dyer and Rodgers drove in three each.
"The wind was blowing out to right and we did a good job of taking some pitches to right," Jones said. "Jared Dyer and Andrew Rodgers hit the ball to right for home runs. Sam had a good day, looked good. He had a good rhythm and stayed on the ball. We took advantage of the weather today, and Aaron Loup shut down their offense and kept the ball out of the air."
After Dyer's first-inning homer, Honeck made it a 2-0 ballgame with an RBI single three hitters into the second. A two-run single by Dyer pushed the lead to four, and Dyer later scored on a wild pitch to cap the four-run frame. Oakland starter Matt Trausch kept Tulane off the scoreboard the next two innings, but gave up two-run homers to Rodgers and then Honeck in the fifth before being replaced by Chad Yinger.
Yinger got the Grizzlies out of the inning but struggled with his control in the sixth and was tagged with five runs on three hits and three walks before being lifted in favor of Dan Stinchcombe. Stinchecombe did not fare much better as he gave up four runs (three earned) on one hit, a walk, and two hit batters in 0.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Junior Seth Henry, who came on as a defensive replacement at shortstop, capped the scoring with an RBI double to right central in the seventh.
Loup, meanwhile, faced just six more than the minimum during his time on the mound as he retired the side in order in the second, third and seventh innings. The only time the Grizzlies threatened came in the fifth when Oakland loaded the bases on consecutive one-out-singles by Taylor Traub, Justin Murdock and Josh Kozuch. Loup came back to get Justin Wilson to bounce into a 5-2 fielder's choice and induced a fly ball to center off the bat of Andrew Stafford to get out of the inning with no harm done.
"I had some rough starts the last few weeks, and I just had to work in the bullpen real hard this week to prepare and get ready to go today," Loup said. "I felt balanced, my arm felt fresh, I was able to establish my fastball inside and I started to get a feel for my off-speed pitch."
Sophomore right-hander Taylor Rogers tossed a perfect eighth and junior southpaw Peter Connick pitched his way around a leadoff single in the ninth to complete Tulane second straight shutout victory and their fourth of the 2008 season.
Trausch was tagged with the loss after allowing nine runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out a pair in 4.2 innings of work. Aaron Wick tossed the final 2.2 stanzas for the Grizzlies, allowing one unearned run on a hit and three walks.
Tulane and Oakland close out the series on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Tulane University Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or go on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.