May 6, 2014
NEW ORLEANS -Tulane baseball continued their winning ways as of late on Tuesday evening at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, as the Green Wave held on to defeat Southeastern Louisiana, 3-2, despite an aggressive rally in the top of the ninth by the Lions.
Leading by just one heading into the top of the ninth, Tulane (21-25) sophomore pitcher Ian Gibaut ran into a bit of trouble, as the Lions (29-21) notched two of their 11 hits on the evening to put the pressure on the Green Wave. Southeastern Louisiana's Kyle Cedotal hit a single to deep shortstop to lead off the frame before Jacob Williams bunted back to the mound in an attempt to move Cedotal up a base. Gibaut fielded the ball and looked to second base before nearly throwing the ball to an unmanned first base, giving the Lions two base runners and no outs.
The Lions' Jacob Seward grounded out to third to move both runners into scoring position, and Gibaut intentionally walked the next batter - Jameson Fisher - to load the bases. Fortunately for Gibaut, the Green Wave defense backed him during the next at-bat, as Andrew Godbold hit into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play to give the Green Wave their first win over the Lions this season.
Gibaut pitched 2.0 innings and struck out three while picking up his first save of the season.
"That's why Ian's here: for big spots like that," said Tulane baseball interim head coach Jake Gautreau. "The ball was coming out of his hand really good. They didn't really have very many good at bats against his fastball there. He's our guy, and we stuck with him. We got in a little bit of a jam, but he ended up coming through."
It helped that the Tulane offense put some runs on the board early for their pitchers. The Green Wave collected seven hits on the evening, with five of them - and all three Tulane runs - coming in the first two frames.
Alemais started things off with a single to left field before swiping his ninth bag of the season to move into scoring position on Lions' starter Kyle Keller. Deschamp brought Alemais in on his 13th double of the season to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead after just one inning.
In the next frame, sophomore Tim Yandel - who entered the game hitless on the season in 22 at-bats - notched a single into left field. He moved to second after sophomore designated hitter Richard Carthon reached on an infield single, and both runners made their way home on Alemais' triple to make the game 3-0 in favor of Tulane.
Tulane redshirt sophomore Alex Massey was relatively unscathed through the first three innings of work in his sixth start on the season, but he hit his first bump in the road in the top of the fourth. Fisher led things off for the Lions with a single to center field before advancing on a balk by Massey - his first of the year and just the second by the team on the season. Sam Roberson singled to third base to put runners at the corners, and Daniel Midyett walked, with the fourth pitch being wild and allowing Fisher to score from third.
Massey allowed a pair of hits in the top of the fifth, but with two outs, Alemais made a heads up play to save another run from scoring. With runners at first and second, Godbold sent a short-hopper to Alemais at short, and instead of trying to make a tough play at first, the Bronx, N.Y., native through Seward out at home as he attempted to score from second.
Tulane nearly scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, as freshman catcher Jake Rogers led the frame off with a double before moving to third on a balk. With one out on the board, freshman outfielder Lex Kaplan lifted a ball into deep left field that should have been a sacrifice fly. However, the umpiring crew deemed that Rogers left early after the Lions appealed.
The Lions cut Tulane's lead to one in the top of the sixth as freshman reliever J.P. France came on in relief of Massey (3-4), who struck out three across 5.0 innings while allowing five hits. Brett Hoffman singled to left field to lead off the frame before Roberson got to first on a fielder's choice. Daniel Midyett doubled to move Roberson to third, and a groundout by Kennon Menard gave the Lions their second run on the evening.
But the Green Wave held on, as France struck out two of the three outs in the top of the seventh before handing the ball over to Gibaut in the eighth.
Keller (3-3) was credited with the loss after going 5.0 innings while allowing seven hits and all three runs. Keller fanned four and walked two.
With the win, Tulane moved to 6-2 in their last eight contests. Additionally, the Green Wave are now 8-7 in one-run games, and they move to 15-5 when scoring before their opponent. The win also gave Gautreau his first victory over Southeastern Louisiana, as he was named the interim head coach of the Tulane program two days before the Green Wave's 5-1 loss to the Lions in Hammond, La., on April 9.
"The guys are playing very well and have bought in," added Gautreau. "There's definitely a nice, interesting identity going on right now. They are fun to watch. We have been playing good baseball here for a while."
The Green Wave will hit the road for their final regular season Conference USA road series, as they head east to square off against UAB at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham, Ala. The Green Wave will play at 6:30pm CT on Friday, followed by a 2pm CT tilt on Saturday. The final game of the series will be on Sunday at 1pm CT.
Live stats can be followed for all three games by clicking on the `live stats' link on the TulaneGreenWave.com baseball schedule page. All three games will be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.