April 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Sophomore right-hander Taylor Rogers struck out a career-high nine batters and the Green Wave got two-run homers from junior second baseman Anthony Scelfo and junior right fielder Drew Allain as the Tulane University baseball team defeated cross-town foe UNO, 8-4, Wednesday evening at Maestri Field.
The win was the first for the Green Wave in their last four tries against the Privateers as Tulane evened the scheduled three-game regular-season series at one win apiece. With the victory, Tulane improves to 23-9-1 on the year. UNO, meanwhile, falls to 20-10.
"We needed to have a good solid game and you're going to get one if you keep playing hard if you're good enough," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We beat a really good team tonight and we know that. I was concerned when we came over here. With the wind blowing out like it was to left and watching them in batting practice hit so many balls out of the ballpark, I knew it was going to be a night where we were really going to have to pitch well.
"Even though we had seven walks, I thought Taylor Rogers really pitched well in a starting role and got some big outs, and Rob Segedin was outstanding in relief. We had some quality at-bats early and played great defense."
Going up against a Privateer club that entered the week eighth in the nation with a .342 team batting average, Rodgers allowed just one run on two hits while scattering five walks during his time on the hill. The Tulane bullpen got a boost from freshman right-hander Rob Segedin - who started the game at third base and went 1-for-4 with two runs scored - as the rookie from Old Tappan, N.J., fanned four and allowed just one run on a hit over the final 2.1 innings of the ballgame.
Tulane out-hit UNO 12-6 on the day, marking just the third time this season the Privateers were held to six or less hits. Scelfo led all players with three hits in five trips to the plate while Allain and junior catcher Jared Dyer tallied two hits apiece.
Following a scoreless first that saw Rogers walk a pair but erase them both on a double-play ball and a caught stealing, the Green Wave offense got going in the second when Segedin ripped a two-out single up the middle and junior left fielder Warren McFadden followed with an RBI-double to the gap in left center to stake Tulane to a 1-0 lead.
An inning later, Scelfo hit Tulane's first two-run bomb of the day to make it 3-0, and the hits kept coming in the fourth. Dyer got things going in the four-run stanza with a leadoff single, and Segedin followed with a hard-hit shot that Privateer third baseman T.J. Baxter air-mailed to first to put a pair of runners in scoring position with nobody out.
McFadden's ground ball to second plated Dyer from third, junior first baseman Sam Honeck followed with an RBI-single through the left side of the infield, and Allain hammered his first home run of the season high down the line to left to give Tulane a comfortable 7-0 advantage.
Baxter atoned for his error with a one-out, solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead six. The score remained 7-1 over the next inning and a half, but UNO appeared to have Rogers on the ropes as a trio of walks loaded the bases with one away as Privateer second baseman Johnny Giavotella - who entered the ballgame fifth in the nation in batting average and who had already laced a double to left off Rogers back in the second - stepped to the plate. Rogers, however, got Giavotella bounce into a 5-3 double play to end the inning and get out of the stanza unscathed.
"That was a huge momentum builder," Rogers said. "With Giavotella up at the plate, he's a great hitter so I was just trying to keep the ball down and get something on the ground. Rob made a huge play. It was a ground ball, he touched the bag and threw to first. It was a great, great momentum shifter."
Tulane made the missed UNO opportunity hurt with a run in the top of the seventh courtesy of an RBI-single off the bat of junior designated hitter Andrew Rodgers to account for the Green Wave's final tally.
The Privateers did not go away quietly, though, as first baseman Nick Schwaner hit a leadoff single in the home half of the frame and went second on a walk by catcher Jeff Lanning. With two away, pinch hitter Alan Harris roped a two-run double down the right field line to make it an 8-3 ballgame.
Following a single by UNO leadoff hitter Ryan Eden, Jones lifted rookie reliever Nick Pepitone in favor of Segedin, who promptly responded with a strikeout of Privateer left fielder Joey Butler to get out of the inning without any further damage done.
Segedin pitched his way around a leadoff walk in the eighth, and after allowing a solo home run to Lanning in the ninth, posted a pair of strikeouts and a ground ball to short to clinch the victory.
"They say good pitching beats good hitting, and that was the case tonight," UNO head coach Tom Walter said. "I thought Rogers and Segedin were outstanding. I was very impressed with both of them. We struck out 13 times tonight, and that is too many. We were chasing too many pitches outside the zone. But give Tulane credit. Rogers and Segedin both had good breaking balls."
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, April 11, when they open a three-game Conference USA series at Houston in a nationally-televised ballgame slated to begin at 7:21 p.m. Tulane's next home game is slated for Tuesday, April 15, when the Green Wave play host to Southeastern Louisiana in game three of the Senator's Cup at 6 p.m. at Green Field at Turchin Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or log onto the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.