April 21, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Junior first baseman Mark Hamilton hit a pair of home runs and drove in a season-best five RBI, and sophomore right-hander Sean Morgan posted a career-best 13 strikeouts in his first career complete game, as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Stephen F. Austin, 9-1, Friday evening at Zephyr Field.
Hamilton went yard in his first two at-bats of the day, belting a two-run bomb in the first and a three-run shot in the third. One was all Morgan (6-4) needed, however, as the native of Sugar Land, Texas, allowed one run on two hits while walking three.
"Sean was dominant, just dominant," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "Hammy's two home runs gave us some breathing room, and Sean was simply dominant. There's no other way to describe it." With the win, Tulane's fourth in its last five games, the Green Wave improve to 25-15. The Lumberjacks, who are fielding their first team since 1995, fall to 8-34.
Tulane posted 11 hits on the day, two each by Hamilton, redshirt-freshman right fielder Warren McFadden, senior centerfielder Nathan Southard and sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus. The story of the game, however, was Morgan, who posted four multiple-strikeout innings, including a three-punchout third.
Morgan sat down the first 10 men he faced before issuing a one-out walk in the fourth. He walked another two in the fifth before retiring the side in order in the sixth. An inning later, however, SFA catcher Steven Hill broke up the no-hit and shutout bid with a solo homer to right center to make it a 6-1 ballgame. Morgan gave up just a single the rest of the way to post the Green Wave's second complete-game pitching effort of 2006.
The Green Wave wasted little time jumping on the Lumberjacks as McFadden drew a two-out walk before Hamilton launched a first-pitch offering from SFA starter Richard Folmer (1-3) over the pool in right field to stake the Green Wave to a 2-0 advantage.
Following a scoreless second, Everett and McFadden opened the third with back-to-back singles, and Hamilton went yard again to push the lead to five. The second home run chased Folmer from the game, but the Green Wave posted a pair of hits off of Lumberjack reliever Bruce Mayberry, and a sacrifice fly by junior designated hitter Tim Guidry put the finishing touches on a four-run frame.
Southpaw Angel Hernandez came on to record the final out of the third, and did not allow a hit during his first four and a third innings. In the eighth, however, Guidry posted a leadoff single to left, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman catcher Max Kwan and scored on an RBI-single off the bat of senior left fielder Matt Riser to make it a 7-1 ballgame. The Green Wave loaded the bases when McFadden singled and Hamilton was hit by a pitch. Hernandez was replaced by Chris Smith, but Southard ripped his first pitch into left field for a two-run single to account for the final score.
While Morgan was cruising on the mound, he got some help from a flawless performance by the Green Wave defense. Tulane turned a 6-4-3 double play to get out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth, and Southard made a pair of highlight-reel catches in center in the sixth and ninth innings.
"We played really well defensively," Jones said. "The lefty (Hernandez) got us out for a while and we strung some things together late. When you pitch poorly, it's hard for everything else to look good, but Sean set the tone from the first inning. I've been on the other side of that when you get down four or five runs early with someone is really, really overpowering. It's a tough thing (to overcome)."
Tulane and Stephen F. Austin continue the series on Saturday at noon, and close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of the stadium, and opens approximately two hours before first pitch.