April 29, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Against one of the better pitching staffs in the nation, Tulane's baseball squad came out swinging on Tuesday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, as the Green Wave won 8-1 thanks in large part to a solid pitching performance of their own from redshirt sophomore Alex Massey as well as a big day at the dish from freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais.
With Massey (2-4) having just pitched his last inning after the top of the sixth, matching a career-high in innings pitched in a contest, Tulane (18-24) led just 2-0 headed to the bottom of that frame. However, a quartet of Tulane freshman came up big at the dish, as third baseman Hunter Hope and outfielder Lex Kaplan notched back-to-back singles off Nicholls State (25-21) reliever Zach Thiac. Catcher Jake Rogers bunted both over into scoring position before Alemais came to the dish with two outs on the board and blasted his first career home run over the left center field wall, giving Tulane a 5-0 lead.
In addition to Massey tying a career-high in innings pitched, the Baton Rouge, La., native also tied a career-best mark in strikeouts with seven on the evening.
"I thought (Alex) had a great outing for us, and he really set the tone for the rest of the game," stated Tulane baseball interim head coach Jake Gautreau. "We know what kind of year Alex had two years ago, and we know that he has had an injury that has held him back. But he gets better and better every time he goes out there. I thought he did an amazing job for us."
Hope, Kaplan and Alemais each posted two runs, while Brown and Willsey scored the other two for the Green Wave. Deschamp had two RBI and Brown recorded an RBI of his own, but it was Alemais who stole the show offensively with a career-high four RBI, three coming from his home run.
"I think he was a little bit shocked," added Gautreau about Alemais' blast. "We've tweaked a couple of things in his stance and his stride, and it's helped him. That ball was a fastball up in the zone which was probably a ball. He got on top of it and put a really good swing on it. That was a big lift for us."
Tulane jumped out to an early lead as they scored a run in the bottom of the first off Colonels' starter Ryan Deemes. Willsey laced a double into left field, and the rookie from Chestnut Hill, Mass., came home on an RBI-single by Deschamp.
The Green Wave struck again off Deemes (2-3) in the bottom of the fourth, as Hope led off with a double before crossing home plate on a single by Brown.
After Massey left the contest, Tulane used sophomore reliever Tim Yandel, who pitched 2.0, scoreless, hitless innings while striking out one. The sophomore from Woodstock, Ga., has posted 8.0-straight innings of work on the mound without allowing a run or a hit.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Green Wave tacked on three more runs as the Colonels' bullpen imploded. Cole Stapler allowed three unearned runs on two walks, a hit by pitch and an error without recording an out. In the top of the ninth, the Green Wave allowed a run to the Colonels as sophomore Ian Gibaut plunked Leo Vargas before giving up an RBI-double to Keith Cormier.
Deemes pitched 4.0 innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out just one. Thiac went 1.1 innings while giving up two runs and three hits. John Satriano pitched 0.2 innings, allowing one run, and Jason McDonald and Stuart Holmes each allowed one hit in 1.0 inning of work.
The eight runs scored by the Green Wave on Tuesday were the most by the team since putting a 10-spot on the board at Cal on March 7. The seven-run margin of victory by the Green Wave has only been seen on two other occasions this year as the team defeated Louisiana Tech 16-3 on Feb. 22 after beating Arkansas-Pine Bluff 11-4 on Feb. 16.
The 12 hits amassed by the Green Wave were the most by the team since collecting 13 at East Carolina in the second game of a doubleheader on March 15.
The Green Wave will return to action over the weekend as they will play host to Conference USA opponent Southern Miss for a three-game series at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Friday's contest will begin at 6:30pm CT, while Saturday's will start at 2pm CT. The Sunday series finale will begin at 1pm CT. All three games will be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH. Live stats for all three contests will be made available through GameTracker links on the TulaneGreenWave.com baseball schedule page.
Single game tickets are available for the contest. For more information on tickets, call 504-861-WAVE (9283), or visit the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center's first-floor ticket office.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.