May 3, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Green Wave used an early lead and a rock-steady defense to outlast the visiting Bearcats as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Conference USA foe Cincinnati 7-6 Saturday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
Juniors Michael Aubrey and Tony Giarratano each hit two-run homers to help stake the Green Wave to a 6-4 lead after three, and preseason all-conference reliever Joey Charron gave up just one hit in two innings of relief to close out the game and pick up his 10th save of the year.
With the win, Tulane's 22nd straight "W" in the friendly confines of Turchin Stadium, the Green Wave improve to 35-13 overall and 16-7 in C-USA play. Cincinnati, meanwhile, falls to 13-33 on the year and 5-18 in league action.
The Green Wave got a solid start out of rookie right-hander Brandon Gomes (2-0), who gave up five runs on 12 hits while striking out one and walking none in 6.1 innings of work. Tulane brought in freshman right-hander Matt Goebel in the seventh before calling on Charron with one on and nobody out in the eighth, and the junior southpaw clinched the win with two-innings of scoreless baseball to seal the series victory.
Cincinnati starter B.J. Borsa (4-7) set the C-USA record for complete games with the 13th of his career Saturday afternoon, but the senior right-hander was nailed with the loss after giving up seven runs on 10 hits while striking out four and walking one. Borsa, however, was let down by his defense as the Bearcats tied a season-high with four errors which led to three unearned Green Wave runs.
Cincinnati jumped out to the early lead, claiming a 1-0 advantage in the first courtesy of a two-out RBI-single by Aaron Moll, but Tulane answered in the home half of the inning when senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan ripped a leadoff double on the first pitch he saw from Borsa, and the speedy outfielder scored two at-bats later when Aubrey clubbed his 11th home run of the year over the wall in right field to stake the Green Wave to a 2-1 advantage.
Kaplan opened the bottom of the third by reaching on an error by shortstop Mark Muscenti, and Giarratano made the miscue hurt when he ripped a two-run bomb just inside the foul poll in right field to tie the game at 4-all. Aubrey followed with a single through the right side, sophomore second baseman Tommy Manzella advanced the preseason All-American to third on a one-out single to right central, and senior left fielder Aaron Feldman gave Tulane the lead with an RBI-single to right to give the home team a 5-4 advantage they would never relinquish.
Manzella advanced to second on Feldman's base knock, went to third on a fielder's choice off the bat of rookie right fielder Brian Bogusevic and scored one at-bat later when freshman third baseman Tim Guidry reached on an error by second baseman Drew Saylor.
Tulane added an insurance run one inning later when Giarratano doubled down the left-field line, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-base, two-out error by Muscenti on a groundball by sophomore designated hitter Wes Swackhamer.
Cincinnati, however, would not go away quietly as the Bearcats plated a run in the seventh on a one-out single off Goebel by Moll in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-5. The run was charged to Gomes, and Goebel was chased from the game in the eighth after giving up a leadoff walk to Saylor. Cincinnati made the free pass pay off as Saylor went to second on a wild pitch by Charron and scored on another two-out single, this one by Niefer, to cut the lead to one. Charron bounced back to get Muscenti to foul out to catcher Brian Bormaster to get out of the inning, and after walking Moll in the ninth the crafty veteran put his stamp on the game by striking out Dorrmann to end the contest.
Tulane and Cincinnati close out the weekend on Sunday with a showdown at high noon at Turchin Stadium. The Green Wave will enjoy a rare week off in midweek play, before returning to C-USA action on Friday, May 9 when they travel to Kentucky to open a three-game series with Louisville.