April 22, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - Redshirt-freshman right fielder Warren McFadden went 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI, and junior right-hander Brandon Gomes struck out eight in a 7.0-inning start, as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Stephen F. Austin, 7-1, Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
The Lumberjacks out-hit the Green Wave, 8-5, but Tulane used two hits, a pair of walks and an error in the third to plate five runs and never looked back. Three Stephen F. Austin pitchers combined for six walks and a hit batsman, and the Lumberjack defense committed a pair of errors. Of the eight free passes issued, five came around to score. Gomes (5-5) combined with bullpen arms Jonathan Garrett and Nathan Newman for 12 strikeouts.
"We pitched well and played solid defense," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "Gomes was very good, Garrett and Newman pitched well out of the bullpen, and we were able to take advantage of two errors committed by Stephen F. Austin."
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first two innings, but a one-out error in the third got things going as sophomore shortstop Cat Everett followed with a walk and McFadden posted Tulane's first hit of the day with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield to give the Green Wave a 1-0 led they would not relinquish.
A walk by junior first baseman Mark Hamilton loaded the bases, senior centerfielder Nathan Southard followed with a two-RBI double to the gap in right central, and Hamilton scored on a wild pitch by SFA starter Brian Steinocher. Southard advanced to third on the Steinocher's wildness, and sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus lifted a sacrifice fly to center to put the finishing touches on a five-run frame.
The Green Wave added to their lead in the fourth when junior designated hitter Tim Guidry drew a leadoff walk in the fourth before scoring on a two-out single by McFadden. Southard followed suit in the fifth with a leadoff walk, advanced the bases on a hit batsman and a sacrifice bunt off the bat of rookie third baseman Seth Henry, and scored on a groundout to second by Guidry.
Stephen F. Austin reliever Jared Schrom kept Tulane off the scoreboard over the final four innings, striking out a two and giving up a pair of singles, but the damage was already done.
The Lumberjack offense, meanwhile, had chances to jump on Gomes early as designated hitter Chase Sadler opened the second with a single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. Gomes bounced back with a strikeout and a routine grounder to get out of the inning unscathed.
Stephen F. Austin came right back in the third and loaded the bases on a leadoff double by right fielder David Jeans and two-out walks by catcher Steven Hill and shortstop Clay Britton. Unscathed by the pressure, Gomes got a soft grounder to third off the bat of Sadler, and Henry touched the bag to leave strand three on base.
The Lumberjacks posted their lone run of the day when second baseman Buck Britton led off the fifth with a single, advanced the bases on a base hit by Hill and a double-play ball by Clay Britton before Sadler ripped a single through the left side of the infield to make it a 6-1 ballgame.
Sadler's knock was the final hit of the day for Stephen F. Austin as Gomes retired the final seven batters he faced - including three by strikeout - Garrett sat down the side in order in the eighth and Newman tossed a scoreless ninth. The only Lumberjack runner to get on base over the final four innings was reserve catcher Ryan Sinclair, who struck out with one out in the ninth but reached first on a wild pitch.
"We had our chances in the second and third innings, but just didn't get the big hit," fist-year Stephen F. Austin head coach Donnie Watson said. "Then we have an error in the bottom of the third and Tulane turns it into five runs. That's a pretty bad recipe for success. This is a situation we haven't been in before, but that's why we decided to come down to Tulane and play on this kind of stage. This helps us grow up fast, and this is how you build a program."
Steinocher was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs (four earned) on three hits while striking out two and walking five in 3.2 innings of work. Jake Leonhart did not allow a hit, but walked one and hit another to give up a run in one-third of an inning.
Tulane and Stephen F. Austin conclude the weekend series 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. Following Sunday's ballgame, the Green Wave close out a nine-game homestand on Tuesday, April 25, when they take on Northwestern State at 7 p.m. at Zephyr Field.
For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Ticket Office has recently returned to its usual location on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or www.TicketMaster.com.