Feb. 27, 2007
BATON ROUGE, La. - Sophomore designated hitter Nate Simon went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI, and senior starter Matt Goebel struck out four in 4.1 innings as the Tulane University baseball team defeated arch-rival LSU, 8-3, Tuesday evening at Alex Box Stadium.
The Green Wave pounded out 11 hits on the day, including a two-run bomb by senior first baseman Tim Guidry and two-hit performances by sophomore catcher Jared Dyer and sophomore third baseman Seth Henry. Timely hitting returned to the Tulane arsenal as well as the Green Wave tallied six hits and four runs with two away.
"I thought we really played well tonight," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "You know, we play in such a big ballpark in Metairie that we don't really know whether we have power or not because it's so cavernous. Tonight, we showed some pop, put some crooked numbers up and played well defensively."
Taking the mound on a pitch count, Goebel (1-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced and allowed just two runs (one earned) on two hits to earn his first win since the 2004 season. It was his longest his longest outing since going 6.0 innings in a start against Memphis on March 21, 2003.
Rookie right-hander Preston Claiborne relieved Goebel with one out in the fifth and gave the Green Wave a solid 3.2 frames, and senior closer Daniel Latham retired all three batters he faced to put the finishing touches on the victory.
"I felt good early on with my pitches," Goebel said. "My sinker was staying down. I was getting a lot of ground balls and a lot of quick outs. That's good because we knew we had a tough opponent with (Louis) Coleman on the mound. I felt like I gave us a chance early on so we could get the bats going. I was just trying to keep us in the game."
After a pair of scoreless innings, Simon put the Green Wave on the board first with a opposite-field, solo homer to left central, and Tulane kept the heat on as Henry doubled in the ensuing at-bat before junior shortstop Cat Everett drove him in with a two-out, RBI-single to shallow center.
Tulane used more two-out magic in the fourth. With Dyer at first and two away, sophomore centerfielder Aja Barto ripped a double to left and Simon followed with a two-run single to center to give the Green Wave a 4-0 lead.
LSU got on the board in the home half of the fourth when second baseman Chris Jackson ripped a two-out double to left and scored on an RBI-single off the bat of left fielder Blake Dean. The Tigers continued to chip away with another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Michael Hollander to make it 4-2.
That was as close as LSU would get, however, as Claiborne pitched Tulane out of the inning with a strikeout and allowed just one run during the rest of his time on the hill. Tulane, meanwhile, padded it's lead on Guidry's two-run homer in the sixth and plated its final runs in the eight on a pair of Tiger miscues as Dyer touched the paystation on a wild pitch by Michael Bonura and Guidry came home on a misplayed double by right fielder Steven Waguespack.
One of five pitchers used by the Tigers on Tuesday, starter Louis Coleman was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six.
"After getting off a red-eye flight yesterday morning and having so many kids under the weather, you never know how you're going to respond," Jones said. "We were a little flat opening night in Los Angeles at USC on Friday night, but tonight, I thought we responded well."
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, March 2, when they open a three-game series against Wright State at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.