April 15, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Sophomore right-hander Taylor Rogers struck out a career-high 10 batters, and rookie utility athlete Rob Segedin hit two RBI-singles and tossed a pair of scoreless frames, as the Tulane University baseball team won the Senator's Cup Series with a 4-1 victory over Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday evening at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane got all the runs it needed in the third courtesy of an error, a wild pitch and Segedin's first knock of the contest, but the day belonged to the pitchers. With the win, Tulane improves to 25-11-1 on the year and claims the three-game, regular-season series over the Lions, 2-1. Southeastern Louisiana, meanwhile, falls to 17-16.
"It was a really, really good outing for Taylor," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "He pounded the strike zone, struck out 10, gave up one hit and one walk against a Southeastern team that played us so well. We didn't have a great night offensively, so we had to have a great pitching performance and play well defensively, and we did."
Rogers (3-0) allowed one run on one hit and a walk in a 7.0-inning start to claim his third midweek victory in as many tries. Segedin, meanwhile, earned his first career save after pitching his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
After two scoreless innings, Tulane got things going with a leadoff walk by junior centerfielder Aja Barto and a single by junior left fielder Anthony Scelfo. From there, junior shortstop Seth Henry dropped down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded cleanly by SLU starting pitcher Chris Cappo, but Cappo's throw to first was high and that allowed Barto to score from 180 feet away. A Cappo wild pitch brought home Scelfo, and Segedin followed with a base hit up the middle to make it a 3-0 ballgame.
That would be all the run support Rogers would need as he retired the first eight batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to SLU nine-hole hitter William Lefever in the third. From there, he sat down the next 13 Lion batters. Rogers struck out one in each of the first three innings, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in both the sixth and seventh stanzas.
"I was just pounding strikes tonight and trying to throw all four pitches," Rogers said. "I did an all right job of throwing different pitches on different counts and basically tried the keep the ball in the zone.
"I don't feel like I had as good of a breaking ball today, but the good thing was I did a better job of throwing them for strikes and commanding them. I just tried to do what I could to keep them off balance."
A leadoff walk to Southeastern Louisiana right fielder Brian McCants chased Rogers from the game, and McCants scored on a one-out RBI double by Casey Summerlin. Tulane got the run back in the home half of the frame, however, as Henry hit a leadoff single, advanced the bases on a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base, and touched the paystation on Segedin's hit off the third-base bag to account for the final score.
Down three heading into the ninth, the Lions did not go away quietly. SLU shortstop Ty Summerlin sparked a one-out rally with a walk, and designated hitter Brandon Street reached safely when his fielder's choice grounder to second did not result in an out. Segedin erased Street at second on a ground ball to third off the bat of Xavier Qualls, but he plunked right fielder Brian McCants to load the bases.
With the tying run at first and the go-ahead run at the plate, however, Segedin got second baseman Chris Ernest to pop out to junior first baseman Sam Honeck in foul territory to spark the Tulane celebration.
"He's really changed things for us," Jones said of Segedin. "I thought what he did in the ninth inning was pretty special. He knocked in two runs tonight and got the save. He's legit."
Southeastern Louisiana used five pitchers on the night, and Cappo was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a two walks while striking out a pair in 4.0 innings. René LeBlanc allowed just one hit and a walk over the next 3.0 innings, while David Smith gave up a run on two hits in a third of an inning. Nick Backes hit the only batter he faced, and Eric Callender retired the final to Green Wave batters to set up the ninth-inning dramatics.
"We competed well, but you have to give Tulane a lot of credit," Southeastern Louisiana head coach Jay Artigues said. "They're so talented, they're very well coached, they had a couple of really big hits, and Rogers was the story of the game. Rob came in and did a good job as well. He got in a tough situation there in the ninth and really battled, competed and made a great pitch to win the game for them."
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, April 18, when they open a three-game weekend series against Conference USA rival Southern Miss at 6 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The two teams will battle again on Saturday at 6 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or log onto the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.