April 8, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Senior right-hander Brandon Gomes struck out four in a solid 7.0-inning start and the Green Wave drew 12 free passes as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Conference USA foe Memphis, 9-5, Easter Sunday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
The Tigers out-hit the Green Wave, 11-7, but of the 11 walks and one hit batsmen earned by Tulane on the day, five scored and another two produced RBI. Tulane also used the hit-and-run effectively, and a safety squeeze bunt by junior shortstop Cat Everett turned into an RBI single to help the Green Wave improve to 24-10 on the year and 6-3 in C-USA play. Memphis, meanwhile, falls to 19-12 overall and 5-4 in conference action.
Pitching with a lead following a five-run third, Gomes gave up four runs on six hits in the top of the fourth, but came back to face just one more then the minimum the rest of his outing to keep the Tigers at arm's length. Outside of the fourth inning, Gomes (4-2) gave up just two other hits - both singles - before giving way to senior righty Daniel Latham, who allowed one run on three hits over the final two frames to close it out.
"When we are good offensively, usually it's well executed action at the plate and on the bases," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "Today, we had some hit-and-runs, we were patient at the plate and drew some walks. We ran the bases well, and got the safety squeeze down."
"We played better defensively then we played all week, and I thought Brandon Gomes came back and gave us a lift after they had the rebound inning. A lot of guys would not have been aggressive as he was, and that really helped. And when you have Daniel down in the pen well rested, it's a comfortable thing to know that if you have a lead, you have a good chance. I thought all of those things worked for us."
Both teams had chances to score over the first two innings, but in the third, sophomore first baseman Jonny Weiss, Everett and junior second baseman Brad Emaus drew walks on 13 pitches by Memphis starter Lance Scoggins to load the bases with nobody out. From there, sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden laced a single through the left side of the infield to plate Weiss, and Everett scored on a bobble by Tigers' left fielder Will Peterson to give Tulane a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore left fielder Anthony Scelfo reached on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt in the ensuing at-bat, and following a strikeout by reliever Chris South, sophomore centerfielder Nate Simon drew a bases-loaded walk and sophomore catcher Jared Dyer came through with a two-run single to right central to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
"We got some hits to fall and we stuck with our game plan," Everett said. "We knew (Scoggins) had walked 15 people in 15 innings, so we went up there and took a lot of pitches and that's what led to the big innings."
Memphis, however, did not go away quietly as second baseman Bill Moss opened the fourth with a leadoff double before third baseman Kyle Norrid, first baseman Adam Amar, shortstop Michael Murray and right fielder Josh Irvin hit consecutive one-out singles. Norrid and Irvin's base hits drove in one run apiece and centerfielder K.K. Chalmers' single to right central drove in a pair to cut the lead to 5-4.
That would be as close as Gomes would allow the Tigers to get, though, as he got out of the inning with a can-of-corn fly ball to left by Peterson. From there, he allowed just a one-out single to designated hitter Joey Lieberman in the fifth before retiring the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings to cap his day.
"I felt really good today," Gomes said. "I was a little disappointed about the fourth and letting them get back in it after those five runs. But I was able to come back, the defense played great, and Coach Sutter called a great game as usual."
Free passes continued to haunt Memphis the rest of the day as sophomore designated hitter Aja Barto was hit by a pitch and scored in the sixth and Scelfo drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Emaus from third later in the inning to stretch the lead to 7-4. Barto got on via walk with one out in the seventh, Weiss followed with a single and the pair scored on Everett's squeeze-bunt-turned-base-hit and a sacrifice fly by Emaus, respectively, to account for Tulane's final runs.
Memphis had something going in the ninth as Murray doubled to open the inning and went to third on a one-out single by pinch-hitter Tyler Huelsing, but Latham bounced back to get Chalmers to hit a sacrifice fly to center before striking out Peterson to spark the Green Wave celebration.
"We would have loved to have won the series, but we didn't and had to salvage it today," Jones said. "We were able to do that, so you have to feel good about that part of it."
Scoggins (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on one hit and five walks while fanning a pair in two-plus innings, and four of the five pitchers used by the Tigers allowed at least two runs. South allowed a pair of runs in one third of an inning, Neil Schenk gave up a pair on three hits and five walks in 3.1 frames, and Brennon Martin gave up two more on a pair of hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, April 10, when they close out a nine-game homestand against Louisiana-Lafayette at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. From there, Tulane heads to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a three-game Conference USA series against rival Southern Miss beginning on Friday, April 13.
For ticket information for Tuesday's game, 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.