April 3, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - All nine Green Wave hitters tallied at least two hits, including a 4-for-6 showing by sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden, as the Tulane University baseball team defeated arch-rival LSU, 16-9, Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.
Tulane (23-8) jumped out to a 10-0 lead after three innings, and held a comfortable 13-3 advantage going into the top of the seventh. In that stanza, however, the Tigers (17-13-1) clawed their way back into the ballgame as left fielder Ryan Schimpf capped a six-run stanza with a three-run homer to right. Rookie right-hander Preston Claiborne came out of the pen to put the fire out and the Green Wave held on to complete the regular-season sweep of LSU for the third time since 2001.
"Again, we played really good defense, we executed our hit-and-runs, we executed our safety squeeze and we were an action team," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "With the exception of the one big inning, we had a great night on the mound. It was a long, emotional game, but one that I'm really excited about from an offensive standpoint."
The game lasted three hours and 40 minutes, and by the time the dust had settled, the two teams combined for 34 hits and 25 runs. Tulane's 22 hits were the second highest total of the season, and the Green Wave got an admirable pitching performance from starter Matt Goebel. The 16 runs, meanwhile, marks the most against the Tigers since a 17-16 loss in Baton Rouge on March 31, 1981 and the most in a victory since a 17-6 decision in 1951.
Goebel (5-1) allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits while walking three and striking out a trio in 6.1 innings of work. Claiborne thwarted LSU's rally in the seventh and finished the day with 1.1 scoreless frames after giving up two walks and a double. Daniel Latham retired the only three men he faced in the ninth.
"I felt like my breaking ball was working better for me today," Goebel said. "I was happy with the way the offense kept battling and keeping us in the game and keeping the pressure off of me. I felt like I could get into a rhythm out there, and I actually felt stronger as the game went along."
Tulane wasted little time jumping out to the early lead as senior third baseman Tim Guidry's sacrifice fly plated the game's first run in the opening stanza. Sophomore first baseman Jonny Weiss made it a 2-0 ballgame with an RBI-double three at-bats into the second innings, and Scelfo blew things open with a two-run homer to right two hitters later.
The Green Wave got six runs on five hits in the third, but the Tigers got on the board in the top of the fourth as Goebel walked a pair to lead off the inning, J.T. Wise drove in a run with a double, Steven Waguespack scored on an error, and Buzzy Haydel drove in a run with an RBI-grounder to short.
Tulane got the runs back with an RBI-single by McFadden in the fifth and an RBI-grounder by Sceflo and a sacrifice fly by Emaus in the sixth, but things got interesting from there.
LSU pinch-hitter Nicholas Pontiff sparked a rally with a one-out, bloop single to shallow center in the seventh, and reserve centerfielder Steve Broschofsky followed with a base hit of his own. In the ensuing at-bat, designated hitter Blake Dean laced an RBI-double to right, which chased Goebel from the game.
Tulane called on freshman righty Drew Zizinia, but the Tiger rally continued as backup catcher Robert Lara hit an RBI-single to center, Waguespack lifted a sacrifice fly to right, Wise was hit by a pitch and Schimpf blasted a three-run shot to right.
It looked as if Haydel would continue the rally against Claiborne with a two-out double, but the big rookie from Austin, Texas, got Michael Hollander to look at a called third strike to get out of the inning, and LSU never threatened again.
Tulane closed out the scoring in the eighth on a safety squeeze bunt by Everet and RBI-singles by Guidry and sophomore catcher Jared Dyer.
"Our guys were working really hard on staying back, staying on the ball and using the field," Jones said. "If you saw how many balls we hit to the other way or up the middle, that's guys who stayed on the ball and were not trying to get pull-conscious. It's only one game, but tonight it was fun to watch.
"You win games different ways if you're a good club. And tonight we won it with our offense and with enough pitching."
The Tigers used seven pitchers on the night, and only two escaped without giving up a run. Kyle Beerbohm (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits while walking a pair in a 1.2-inning start.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, April 6, when they open a three-game Conference USA series against Memphis. For ticket information for this weekend's games, as well as future Green Wave athletic events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.