May 6, 2006
METAIRIE, La. - The Tulane University baseball team went through a barrage of emotions during Saturday's Conference USA contest against Marshall - spanning from the thrill of victory, to the agony of defeat and back to the jubilation of a successful comeback.
Trailing 8-7 following a four-run, six-hit ninth by the Thundering Herd to erase a 7-4 Tulane lead, the Green Wave found themselves smiling as freshman third baseman Seth Henry ripped a two-out RBI single up the middle to lift the home team to a 9-8 come-from-behind win at Zephyr Field.
"We had some really good at-bats in the ninth inning," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "(Warren) McFadden beating a ball out. (Mark) Hamilton had a great at-bat and Seth was big, putting the ball in play. (Marshall) swung it well, and we left way too many on late. We had chances to stretch the lead late and didn't do that. We let them hang around, and they're too good of an offensive club to let hang around."
All nine Tulane hitters had at least one hit, but none was bigger than Henry's clutch knock in the final stanza. Down by a run going into the bottom of the ninth, the Green Wave loaded the bases on a one-out, infield single by redshirt-freshman right fielder Warren McFadden, a double by junior first baseman Mark Hamilton and an intentional walk to senior centerfielder Nathan Southard.
Marshall reliever Nick Wolle (0-6) posted a strikeout for the second out of the stanza, but a wild pitch during Henry's at-bat allowed McFadden to score from third. Henry followed by chopping a 2-1 fastball over Wolle's head and into centerfield to spark the Green Wave celebration.
With the win - Tulane's fourth in a row, 11th in its last 12 games and 12th in its last 14 contests - the Green Wave improve to 33-16 on the year and 9-8 in C-USA play. Marshall, meanwhile, falls to 20-23 overall and 6-14 in league action.
Tulane led 7-4 going into the ninth, and while Marshall had cut the lead to two on two-out RBI single by catcher Rich Russell, the Green Wave were still one out from clinching the series. Designated Brendon Murphy changed the complexion of the game with a deep fly ball to left that rattled in-and-out of the glove of senior left fielder Matt Riser and went over the wall for a game-tying home run.
From there, first baseman Roddy Stiegel and second baseman Brent Mason posted back-to-back singles before right fielder Brit Vincent came through with an RBI base hit through the left side of the infield to set up an eventful home half of the inning.
"That's why you play 27 outs," Jones said. "Matt Riser is one of the best outfielders we've ever had here, and it was one of those plays where it hits his glove and pops over the fence. It's a freaky thing."
Lost in the late-inning excitement was a solid performance by Tulane starter Brandon Gomes. Gomes, who left the game with two out in the seventh and the Green Wave leading 7-4, did not allow an earned run while scattering six hits, walking three and striking out four. Sophomore Trey Martin was perfect through an inning and a third of relief. Junior Daniel Latham, who saw his hopes of breaking the C-USA career saves record dashed on Murphy's two-out bomb in the ninth, earned the victory to improve to 4-2 on the year.
The two teams battled to a scoreless draw over the first two innings, but the Green Wave jumped on Marshall starter Chris Koutsavlis in the third when Henry opened the frame with a double and scored on an RBI-single up the middle by Guidry. Wallace followed with his second home run of the year to push the lead to 3-0, but the Green Wave would get two more runs in the stanza when sophomore shortstop Cat Everett singled through the left side of the infield and Hamilton posted a two-out bomb to straight away center to cap a five-run frame.
The Herd scratched across an unearned run in the top of the fifth on an RBI-groundout off the bat of left fielder Chris Monaco, but the Green Wave answered in the home half of the inning with RBI singles by McFadden and Southard to make it a 7-1 ballgame.
Marshall tightened things up with three unearned runs in the seventh. Vincent reached on a leadoff error, and centerfielder Adam Ptacek doubled to right in the ensuing at-bat. A groundout to short by shortstop Aaron Levinson plated Vincent from third, and following back-to-back walks to third baseman Adam Frederick and Russell, Murphy came through with a two-out, two-RBI single to shallow right to make it a three-run affair.
Tulane and Marshall close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of the stadium, and opens two hours prior to first pitch. The will be broadcast on the flagship station of Tulane baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and will be simulcast on WODT 1280 AM, The Sports Monster. In addition, the games can be heard on the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to subscribers of the All-Access Pass, and live stats are provided free via GameTracker.