May 6, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Senior first baseman Tim Guidry went 2-for-3 with an RBI and junior right-hander Sean Morgan pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief as the Tulane University baseball team snapped a six-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory in game two of Sunday's Conference USA double-header vs. UAB at Zephyr Field.
Tulane dropped game one of the two seven-inning ballgames after giving up four runs in the top of the seventh in a 4-2 contest, but Morgan made sure the lead held up in the nightcap as the Green Wave clinched a 30-win season for the 14th consecutive season under head coach Rick Jones.
"I was proud of the way our team bounced back after another emotional loss (earlier in the day)," Jones said. "In the last two weeks, we've had a lot of emotional losses in some close games. We scored four runs in 14 innings with the wind blowing out. You'd like to see us put more runs on the board because that puts a lot of pressure on your pitching staff. We did it in game one and we did it in game two. Sean Morgan gave us a lift there, and (starting pitcher) Aaron Loup pitched really, really well."
Morgan pitched around a two-out walk in the sixth, and the Blazers put the tying run on base again in the seventh when Bond reached via error with one away. Bond was lifted in favor of speedster Stephen Burner on the base path, but Morgan got a fly ball to left off the bat of catcher Danny Sawyer for out No. 2. With UAB shortstop Jonathan Merritt at the plate, Morgan induced a ground ball that junior third baseman Brad Emaus made a nice play on to snap the skid.
"After losing that first game - that was a real heart-breaker - it's tough to be able to pick yourself up and get ready to play" Guidry said. "We had a couple of great pitching performances from Loup and Morgan. I don't think Morgan's relieved in a while, but he did a great job out of the pen."
Loup (1-0) earned the victory after allowing one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Morgan, meanwhile, finished the day with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Tulane had an opportunity to sweep the twin-bill as the Green Wave held a 2-0 lead going into the top of the seventh in game one. The home team did its damage in the second when sophomore centerfielder Aja Barto ripped an RBI-double to left center and sophomore left fielder Nate Simon followed suit with a run-scoring two-bagger to the gap in right central.
The Green Wave, however, left some runs on the base paths as Tulane left the bases loaded at the end of the frame and again in the third. The missed opportunities proved costly as the Blazers rallied in the seventh.
On an 0-2 pitch, Tulane starter Brandon Gomes plunked Bond to open the frame before designated hitter Danny Sawyer and Merritt hit back-to-back singles to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Gomes (5-5) was lifted after Merritt's RBI single up the middle, and a defensive miscommunication loaded the bases as no one covered first as third baseman Ryne Lovdahl's sacrifice bunt attempt turned into an infield single.
From there, catcher Ben Shelley ripped a two-run single through the right side of a drawn-in infield, and nine-hole hitter Tyler Rollin followed with a base hit to right to cap a four-run stanza.
The Green Wave put the tying run on base in the home half of the inning as Emaus singled to open the frame and Guidry walked two hitters later. Mitch Kloskowski - who started Friday's suspended ballgame and came on in relief to start the seventh on Sunday - bounced back to get an infield pop-up and a strikeout to clinch the series for the Blazers.
"I've never seen so many things go wrong for us," junior shortstop Cat Everett said. "It's not all bad luck, but there was a lot of bad luck in there. Brad (Emaus) and Warren (McFadden) hit the ball hard with runners in scoring position but just right at people. That's baseball. All we need is a foot in the door. We're still a dangerous team. We're still capable of doing everything we want to do late in the season."
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, May 11, when they travel to Houston for a three-game C-USA slate at Rice before closing out the regular season with a three-game tilt against Chicago State beginning Thursday, May 17, at Zephyr Field. For ticket information, 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.