March 18, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Jaguars starter P.J. Walters struck out seven in a complete-game effort and his offense gave him plenty of run support as the Tulane University baseball team dropped an 8-4 decision to South Alabama Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
Tulane starter Brandon Gomes sat down South Alabama in order in the first, but the Jaguars responded with two runs in the second and third innings, and added another three in the fourth. The Green Wave loaded the bases in the fifth - and got a pair of runs out of it - and plated another two in the bottom of the ninth, but Walters as able to keep Tulane at arm's length to even the series at one game apiece.
"Their guy gave a great pitching performance, and Brandon did not have his best stuff," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "(Gomes) fought hard, but they had some good at-bats early and took control of the game. I was proud of the way we battled back, but I think today was more of a credit to (Walters). A good pitcher made a couple of good pitches when he had to, and that's what happened today."
With the loss, Tulane falls to 13-8 on the year. South Alabama, meanwhile, improves to 15-7. The two teams will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Eddie Stanky Field on the USA campus in Mobile, Ala.
Senior centerfielder Nathan Southard had two of the Green Wave's eight hits, but four of the hits came in the final stanza as South Alabama entered the frame with a commanding 8-2 advantage. Tulane made things interesting late as Southard led off the fame with a single, went to second on a groundout and scored on a pinch-hit single by rookie Nate Simon.
Following a strikeout, sophomore pinch hitter Sean Morgan laced a two-out single to right, and reserve designated hitter Aja Barto hit an infield single that saw South Alabama third baseman David Freese throw the ball away which allowed Simon to score all the way from second.
While Walters was dealing, the South Alabama offense pounded out 12 hits, including a 3-for-4 showing by designated hitter David Doss. Centerfielder Tyler Jones and Freese joined Doss in the multiple-hit club with two each.
After a scoreless first, first baseman Jeff Cunningham sparked a two-run second with a leadoff double followed by an RBI-single by shortstop Guillermo Martinez. A single by Doss moved Martinez to third, and catcher Joey Collins drove him home with an RBI-fielder's choice.
The Jaguars padded their lead in the third on a two-run double by Freese, and Freese capped a three-run fourth with another two-RBI twin sacker one inning later.
Tulane got things going in bottom of the fourth as freshman third baseman Seth Henry and Southard sandwiched singles around a Jaguar error to load the bases, and junior first baseman Mark Hamilton put the Green Wave on the board with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield. Two at-bats later, sophomore shortstop Cat Everett made it a six-run contest with a run-scoring hit to left central, but that would be the last hit Walters would allow until the ninth.
Senior right-hander Blake Walker gave Tulane a solid 3.1 innings out of the bullpen when he gave up one run on two hits and a walk, and sophomore John Michael Vidic - who appeared in his first game in a Tulane uniform after spending the previous year at Georgia Tech - tossed two near perfect innings to close things out.
Gomes (2-3) was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs on 10 hits while striking out three in a 3.2-inning start.
Following Sunday's series finale in Mobile, Ala., the Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, March 21, when they play host to cross-town foe UNO in game two of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field.
For ticket information, contact the Tulane 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. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third base side of the stadium, and gates open two hours prior to first pitch.