April 22, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - In a game that included a one-hour rain delay after just half an inning of play, the Green Wave "weathered" the storm and withstood a solid effort from the visiting Colonels as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Nicholls State 4-3 Wednesday evening at Turchin Stadium.
Freshman third baseman Tim Guidry, senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan and junior shortstop Tony Giarratano each tallied two hits, and Brian Bormaster had an RBI single of his own to lead the Tulane attack. Sophomore reliever Kelly Comarda, who made just his third appearance of the 2003 season, gave the Green Wave 1.2 innings of work to earn his first victory of the year, and preseason Conference USA reliever Joey Charron pitched a pair of scoreless innings to claim his eighth save.
With the win, the Green Wave's 20th consecutive "W" in the friendly confines of Turchin Stadium, Tulane improves to 30-12 on the year. Nicholls State, meanwhile, falls to 21-22.
While Comarda (1-0) claimed the win for the Green Wave, he was nearly saddled with the loss in the sixth inning when he came on with bases loaded and only one out with Tulane clinging to a one-run lead. The first man he faced, Nicholls' starting left fielder Brad Dantonio, turned on a 1-1 fastball and sent it over the wall in right field that first-base umpire Tom Layrisson initially called a fair ball to give the Colonels a 7-4 lead with an apparent grand slam. After an immediate argument by Tulane head coach Rick Jones, home plate umpire Eddie Newsome overruled the call and declared Dantonio's bomb a foul ball.
Nicholls put the tying run on base in the ninth when second baseman Jeremy Helton worked the count full and drew a walk, but Charron picked off Helton at first before offering a pitch plateward. From there, Charron induced a come-backer off the bat of Ruiz and got clean-up hitter Bryan James to ground out to short to end the game.
The Colonels actually out-hit Tulane 10-8, but the Green Wave's early lead proved to be the difference.
Tulane got on the board in the first following the rain delay as Kaplan singled, stole second - his first of two thefts on the day- and scored on an RBI-single to right by Giarratano. The Green Wave shortstop advanced to second base when junior first baseman Michael Aubrey was plunked by an errant toss from Nicholls' starter Robbie Hebert, and scored two batters later on an RBI-groundout by rookie left fielder Nathan Southard.
Tulane padded its lead in the fourth when Guidry hit a two-out infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw by Colonel shortstop Chuck Hickman, and scored on Bormaster's RBI-single up the middle. Kaplan and Giarratano followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases, and Aubrey drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-0.
Nicholls, however, did not go away quietly and plated a pair of runs in the fifth when Hickman and Helton hit consecutive singles to open the frame before James and David Tano hit two-out RBI singles to cut the lead to 4-2.
Freshman Matt Goebel came on to put out the fire in the fifth, but Tulane dug itself into a hole in the next stanza with a pair of one-out errors. Following a Hickman single to load the bases, Helton drew a walk to cut the lead to 4-3. From there, Jones called on Comarda who thwarted the NSU rally, and Tulane kept the Colonels off the board the rest of the way to win their 20th consecutive game on the uptown campus.
The Green Wave got a solid effort from starter Billy Mohl, who gave up two earned runs on nine hits while striking out five and walking none in 4.2 innings of work. Goebel also pitched admirably in relief, giving up an unearned run in the sixth courtesy of two Tulane defensive miscues.
The Colonels got solid relief efforts from Beau Lambert, Eric Walker and David Bourg as the Nicholls State trio only gave up two runs - both off Lambert - in the final 6.1 innings, combining for six hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Hebert was nailed with the loss after giving up two runs on two in a 1.2-inning start to fall to 3-4 on the year.
Tulane returns to action on Friday, April 26 when they travel to Missouri to open a three-game C-USA slate against Saint Louis at the Billikens Sports Complex. First pitch of that contest is slated for 7 p.m.