March 18, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Senior right-hander Brandon Gomes fanned seven in a 6.0-inning start and the Green Wave offense pounded out a season-best 24 hits as the Tulane University baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Siena with a 19-0 decision Sunday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
The shutout was the fourth in a row for the Green Wave, marking the first time in program history that Tulane has held an opponent scoreless in four consecutive ballgames. All nine of Tulane's positional starters tallied at least one hit, and 14 of the 16 players to draw an at-bat got a hit as the Green Wave improved to 16-6. Siena, meanwhile, fell to 0-15.
"You can't over emphasize how special that is - to go an entire week and not give up a run," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said of his pitching staff's performance over the last four contests. "That's a credit to our pitching staff, the coaching they got and the defense. I've been doing this for a while, and I've never seen that before."
With the pitchers were on top of their games once again, the Tulane offense did its part as the squad posted as many hits on Sunday as it had in the previous three games combined. The 24 hits were the most by a Tulane team since March 5, 2005 when the Green Wave tallied 25 in a 24-2 decision over Marist at Turchin Stadium.
Sophomore catcher Jared Dyer, junior second baseman Brad Emaus and sophomore third baseman Seth Henry all hit home runs on Sunday, and Emaus led all players with four hits in six at-bats. Henry and junior shortstop Cat Everett tallied three hits each, and Henry led all players with career-best five RBI.
Dyer hit a homer in the sixth, Henry drove in three with his bomb in the seventh and the Green Wave plated six runs on five hits in the eighth - including Emaus' fourth round-tripper of the season.
"Eventually, if you have good enough hitters, you figure something good is going to happen for you," Jones said. "I thought the baseball gods challenged us a little bit early again today, but we finally got the big blow. Mac hitting the ball off the wall with the wind blowing out got some things going for us and we had some good RBI hits. Once that started, you could see it. You start getting on a roll and guys start relaxing a little bit (at the plate)."
The story of the ballgame, however, was the pitching performance of the Green Wave. Like Tulane's offense, Gomes (2-2) did not get off to the best start, allowing a single and a double in the first, but he was able to get out of the jam by striking out the side. Gomes allowed leadoff singles in four of the first five innings he was on the mound, but only one runner got as far as third after the first inning.
"I had pretty good command of my fastball, but the biggest thing today was I had my split-finger going for the first time all year," Gomes said. "We worked on it all week, and it's something I need to be effective."
Rookie southpaw Aaron Loup replaced Gomes to start the seventh and responded by fanning the first two he faced in a perfect seventh, and freshman right-hander Drew Zizinia faced the minimum in the eight courtesy of a one-out, double-play ground ball.
True freshman Taylor Rogers allowed a leadoff single to pinch hitter Gary DerHargopian in the ninth, but that would be the final safety allowed by Tulane as the Green Wave ran its scoreless streak to 36.1 innings.
"That's huge for the pitching staff and I'm sure they have a lot of confidence now," Everett said. "And we have confidence in them. It makes it easy to play defense. They throw a lot of strikes so it keeps you on your toes and makes it easy on us."
Siena used four pitchers on the day, but none of them could keep the Green Wave from lighting up the scoreboard. Starter Andy Wells (0-4) pitched well over the first four innings, but was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on five hits and four walks before being relieved with nobody out in the fifth.
Ryan King was roughed up for four runs in one-third of an inning, J.J. Potrikus allowed seven runs in 12 hits in 2.2 frames, and Dan Miklas gave up six runs on five hits in the final stanza.
The Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, March 20, when they travel to Maestri Field to take on cross-town foe UNO in game two of the 2007 WOW Café & Wingery Cup. The game against the Privateers is the first of a four-game road swing as the Green Wave will open Conference USA play next weekend with a three-game slate against Marshall in Charleston, W.Va.