March 21, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Junior first baseman Michael Aubrey belted two home runs for the second time in 2003 and went 4-for-4 with three RBI and a stolen base as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Memphis 9-3 Friday evening in Conference USA action at Turchin Stadium.
Not to be outdone, senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a steal to improve to a perfect 20-for-20 on the basepaths as the Green Wave improves to 17-6 on the year and evens its league record to 2-2 with the victory. Memphis, meanwhile, falls to 6-12 overall and 1-3 in C-USA play.
Tulane also had a good showing on the mound as freshman right-hander Matt Goebel fanned five and walked none while giving up two runs on six hits in a six-inning start to earn his third win of the year, and fellow rookie Billy Mohl picked up his first collegiate save with three innings of relief, striking out four and giving up one unearned run on three hits.
The Green Wave wasted little time jumping on the Tigers as Kaplan led off the first with a double and scored on Aubrey's first homer of the game to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Memphis tied the game in the second when Kurt Welch and Ryan Martin led off the frame with a base hit and a double, and scored on a fielder's choice by Kyle Scott and Bryan Dlugach, respectively. Tulane answered in the home half of the frame as freshman left fielder Nathan Southard got on board with a leadoff walk, advanced to the bases on a walk and a groundout, and scored on an RBI-double off the bat of Kaplan, and Tulane pushed the lead back to two runs one inning later when Aubrey hit a leadoff single and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly to deep center by junior catcher Brian Bormaster.
Memphis cut the lead to three in the eighth when Kevin House hit a leadoff single through the right side of the infield, advanced to second on an errant throw and went to third on a passed ball before touching the paystation courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Josh Payne one batter later.
The Green Wave answered, and then some, in the bottom of the inning though, when Southard doubled and scored on an RBI-single by sophomore designated hitter Wes Swackhamer to make it 7-3. Then, with two out, Kaplan drew a walk and scored one at-bat later when junior shortstop Tony Giarratano laced a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield to close out the scoring.
The Tigers tried to make a comeback in the ninth as Scott doubled to lead off the frame, but Mohl responded by striking out the next two Memphis hitters and snared a come-backer to the mound off the bat of Bill Moss to seal the Green Wave win.
Tulane and Memphis continue the series on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Sunday, as always, is "Kids Day" at Turchin Stadium, but this one will be a little different as Tulane celebrates its annual "Kids Take Over The Ballpark". Members of the Riptide Kids Club will literally take over the ballpark and have the opportunity to try their hand at joining the Tulane radio broadcast team, sitting behind the public address microphone and running the scoreboard during the contest.
TULANE TIDBIT: With the win Friday night, Tulane head coach Rick Jones is just one victory away from reaching the 400-win plateau as the skipper of the Green Wave squad. Jones is one of three Green Wave coaches with at least 100 wins, joining the dean of Tulane coaches, Joe Brockoff, who won 641 games during his tenure from 1975-93 and Milt Retif who won 123 games from 1967-74.