Sophomore shortstop Cat Everett extended his hitting streak to four with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to lead Tulane to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over UNO in game two of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup.
March 21, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Sophomore shortstop Cat Everett ripped a bases-loaded singled through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Tulane University baseball team to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over cross-town foe UNO in game two of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.
The Green Wave trailed 3-2 going into the final stanza, but got a leadoff walk and a single to start the inning and were able to capitalize on a pair of Privateer miscues to bring Everett to the plate. With the bases full, Everett turned on a first-pitch offering from Justin Garcia that found a hole between first and second to spark the Tulane celebration.
"I was pleased with the way we battled in the ninth," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "I was disappointed that we didn't take advantage of some opportunities early, but thankfully, it didn't come back to haunt us. This is the kind of win we need at this point in the season, and it's something we can build on."
With the win - the Green Wave's fifth straight over the Privateers - Tulane claimed back-to-back victories for the first time since March 4-5 to improve to 15-8 on the year. UNO, meanwhile, saw its winning streak snapped a three as the Privateers fell to 13-10.
The win was the first one-run victory for the Green Wave in 2006 and, combined with a 10-2 decision over the Privateers back on Feb. 21, assures Tulane of the WOW Cup championship. The game also marked the first time since April 20, 2003 - a 6-5 victory over Conference USA foe UAB - that Tulane came back to win when trailing after eight innings.
Down by a run, freshman pinch hitter Nate Simon led off the ninth with a walk, and senior left fielder Matt Riser followed with a single to get things going. A failed sacrifice bunt erased Simon at third, and UNO went to its bullpen for the second time as Garcia replaced Ryan O'Shea. Garcia's second toss bounced in the dirt to allow the runners to move into scoring position, and senior centerfielder Nathan Southard hit a shot that UNO third baseman T.J. Baxter could not handle cleanly which allowed Riser to tie the game at 3-all.
Junior first baseman Mark Hamilton hit a grounder to second base that could have been a game-ending double play, but Southard avoided the tag by UNO second sacker Johnny Giavotella, and Giavotella's throw to first rattled in and out of first baseman Greg Wolfe's glove to load the bases and set up Everett's heroics.
"(Before the at-bat), Coach (Mark) Kingston reminded me to keep two hands on the bat," Everett said. "All year long, I've hit well when I keep two hands on it, and I just tried to keep my swing short. Usually, the only way I can get a fly ball is to pull it. Well I pulled the ball, but it didn't get up in the air. Fortunately, it found a hole."
Junior reliever Daniel Latham (2-2) got the win after recording the final out in the top of the ninth, but Tulane got solid pitching performances from starter Billy Mohl as well as the first man out of the bullpen, sophomore right-hander Trey Martin. Mohl allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out six with no walks in six solid innings, and Martin gave up just one hit and one walk in 1.2 scoreless frames.
Tulane had UNO down early as the Green Wave took advantage of an erratic Branon Johnson in the first as the Privateers' starter issued four walks and hit a batter to stake the home team to a 2-0 lead. Johnson pitched himself out of the jam, and faced just three more than the minimum over the next five scoreless innings.
While Johnson kept the Green Wave from adding to its lead, the Privateers were able to hang around and broke through in the fifth when Wolfe hit a leadoff homer deep to right to cut the lead in half. Later in the inning, Tulane committed a pair of errors, and UNO made the extra outs count as right fielder Michael Epping hit a fielder's choice RBI to short to tie the game, and Giavotella ripped a triple to straight-away centerfield to give the Privateers a 3-2 lead that would stand until the ninth inning.
O'Shea (4-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up a pair of runs (one earned) in 2.0 inning of work where he scattered three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Garcia did not retire a batter, but his defense let him down as two UNO errors extended the ninth and allowed Everett to draw what proved to be the game-winning at-bat.
Tulane returns to action on Friday, March 24, when the Green Wave travel to Tennessee to open Conference USA play at Memphis with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Green Wave's next home game is slated for Tuesday, March 28, when they play host to Jackson State at 6:30 p.m.
For ticket information to future Green Wave Athletics events, 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.