Baseball Falls In Confernece USA Series Opener At UCF, 7-6

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Junior second baseman Brad Emaus went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in Friday's ballgame at UCF.
Junior second baseman Brad Emaus went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in Friday's ballgame at UCF.

April 27, 2007

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Golden Knights' designated hitter Mike Horwath hit for the cycle for the first time in school history as the Tulane University baseball dropped a 7-6 Conference USA decision to UCF Friday evening at Jay Bergman Field.

UCF out-hit the Green Wave, 12-8, including Horwath's single in the third, triple in the fourth, homer in the seventh and game-winning double in the eighth. Tulane stranded 12 runners on base on the night, including nine in scoring position. With the loss, Tulane falls to 29-15 on the year and 8-8 in C-USA play. UCF, meanwhile, improves to 20-23 overall and 2-11 in league action.

The Green Wave led 6-3 after six and a half innings, but after wiggling out of a bases-loaded jam, the Knights hung a three-spot in the home half of the inning capped by a two-run bomb by third baseman Chris Duffy - his second of the day - to tie the game.

Tulane stranded a pair on base in the eighth and UCF took advantage of a big error as a fly ball off the bat of nine-hole hitter Chadd Hartman rattled in and out of the glove of Green Wave centerfielder Nate Simon at the wall to put the go-ahead runner at third base with nobody out. From there, Horwath completed his cycle with an RBI-double to center, and UCF closer Justin Weiss pitched his way out of a one-out, runner-at-second jam in the ninth to close things out.

Simon and junior second baseman Brad Emaus each had two hits on the day, including an RBI-double by Emaus in the first to put Tulane ahead 1-0. The Green Wave took advantage of three UCF errors in the second to extend the lead to three and made it a 4-0 ballgame in the third when senior first baseman Tim Guidry ripped an RBI-single up the middle to plate Emaus from second.



UCF chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth, however, as Horwath singled, stole second and scored on an RBI-knock by second baseman Dwayne Bailey in the ensuing at-bat. Two hitters later, first baseman Kiki Vasquez cut the lead in half with a sacrifice fly to center, and Duffy hammered his first long ball of the day to right central to make it a one-run affair.

After two scoreless innings, Tulane added single runs in the sixth and seventh on a passed ball and an RBI-single by Simon, respectively, to make it 6-3 and set up the UCF comeback.

Weiss (4-0) got the win after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings, and the only two base runners he allowed came on a walk in the eighth and a hit batsman in the ninth. The HBP set up the potential game-winning run as sophomore Jared Dyer was plunked to open the final frame, and Simon dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Scott Powell into scoring position. Weiss, however, responded with a strikeout and a weak grounder to spark the Golden Knight celebration.

Tulane starter Sean Morgan did not factor in the decision after allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks, and moved into sole possession of eighth place on the Green Wave career strikeout list (263) with six punches. Rookie right-hander Preston Claiborne (0-2) was struck with the hard-luck loss after giving up an unearned run on three hits.

The Green Wave and Golden Knights continue the series on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) and close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Following the weekend in Orlando, the Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, May 1, with game three of the WOW Café & Wingery Cup vs. cross-town foe UNO at 7 p.m. at Zephyr Field.

For ticket information to Tuesday's ballgame, as well as future Tulane Athletics events, contact the Tulane Athletics ticket office at (504) 861-WAVE. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the game at the Zephyr Field Ticket Office, which is located on the third-base side of the stadium and opens approximately two hours before first pitch.