Nov. 3, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - There wasn't much offense on Sunday by either team due to solid pitching in the final installment of the Tulane Fall World Series, but a two-run homer by freshman outfielder Grant Brown put Team Blue ahead for good as they went on to win the championship by scoring a 6-3, eight-inning victory over Team Green at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
With Team Green leading 1-0, Brown launched a pitch from freshman Corey Merrill over the left field wall after sophomore catcher Matt Braud was plunked by Merrill (0-1). Team Blue added three runs in the sixth, and another in the seventh, on top of getting solid pitching from freshmen J.P. France, Matt Horton and Andrew Culp. The trio combined for six strikeouts, while allowing only three hits.
Horton (1-0) and Culp did not walk a single batter, and Culp got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth to earn the save.
Despite picking up the loss, Merrill was highly effective over 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits while fanning three.
"Today was, I thought, our least offensive day, but you have to credit the pitchers there," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "Grant Brown obviously got into a ball there. He put a good swing on it. But I think both Corey and J.P. pitched well as starters, and they are both going to get better and better as they mature. I thought that Matt Horton was very impressive. He is one of those guys I am very excited about."
Team Green was aggressive on the base paths today, with Andrew Garner, Lex Kaplan, Tyler Wilson and Tim Yandel all swiping bags. But the team left seven runners on base, and with the tying-run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, Culp was able to induce a double-play ball to pick up the win.
Kaplan, playing in centerfield today, was the only multi-hit batter for Team Green, as he was 2-for-4 with two runs. Garner was the only other player on Team Green with a hit on the afternoon, as he went 1-for-4.
Team Blue, on the other hand, spread their offensive out a little bit, as five batters posted hits. None was bigger than Brown's that gave them the lead after Kaplan scored on an error in the top of the fourth for Team Green.
"Today was a fun day," said Team Blue manager Tyler Mapes. "The whole weekend was fun. Grant had a big two-run home run for us that sparked us. The sun was a problem for both teams, but we pitched well, and Culp came in and got a big save for us."
The sky was clear and the sun was bright, causing a few fielders on both teams to lose the ball in the sun.
"I think we had a solid weekend as a team, and I think everyone competed hard," said Team Green manager Briggs Barrios. "Today was disappointing, though. We came out a little flat. We just didn't put enough good at-bats together to get it done. Corey really came out and pitched well for us today. I was really impressed with him. He only gave up that one mistake to Grant Brown. We lost a couple of balls in the sun, but I liked what we did on the mound. We just didn't get enough hits to win the game."
For the weekend, Buchowski led Team Blue with a batting average of .400, notching four singles. Hope also had four hits, batting .308. John Gandolfo batted .300 with three RBI, one inside-the-park home run and a stolen base.
Team Green was led by Kaplan, who hit .444 in three contests, posting four hits, three runs and a stolen base. Garner went 4-for-13 to hit .308, while also swiping a bag.
The Green Wave will now take the remainder of the winter off before reconvening for the 2014 season in January. Tulane will open their season on Feb. 14 when they take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
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