Tulane Drops Series Opener To USF, 9-4

Bulls right fielder Bryan Hierlmeier hit for the cycle and third baseman Jeff Baisley hammered a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision to Conference USA foe USF Friday evening at Turchin Stadium.

Tulane got home runs from sophomore right fielder Brian Bogusevic and junior left fielder Matt Barket; while Barket, junior first baseman Wes Swackhamer and junior catcher Greg Dini each posted two-hit games, but their efforts were not enough to overcome a pair of four-run innings by the Bulls.

With the loss, the Green Wave fall to 32-15 on the year and 15-7 in C-USA action. USF, meanwhile, won their first road league game since May 2, 2003, while improving to 28-18 overall and 10-11 in conference play.

With the score tied at 4-all after three innings, Hierlmeier made it a 5-4 ballgame with a leadoff homer in the fifth. After three scoreless frames, the Bulls had runners at second and third with following a one-out single bty Heirlmeier and a double by shortstop Myron Leslie.

Tulane decided to walk the bases loaded, issuing an intentional pass to catcher Devin Ivany, but Baisley made the move hurt when he hammered the next pitch by Tulane reliever Daniel Latham over the wall in left to account for the final score.

The Green Wave got off to a good start as Bogusevic hit a leadoff bomb to right central to break a scoreless tie in the second inning, but the Bulls came right back to score four runs on four doubles and a triple in the top of the third.

Tulane answered in the home half of the frame as junior shortstop Tommy Manzella opened the stanza with a double down the left-field line, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore centerfielder Nathan Southard, and scored on a ground ball by junior second baseman Joe Holland. Holland reached on an error, and Barket tied things at 4-all with a two-run blast to left center.

Green Wave starting pitcher J.R. Crowel appeared to shrug off the four-run third and retired the first two men he faced in the fourth via flyout and a popup, but the sophomore lefty was forced to leave the game after experiencing tightness in his throwing shoulder during the second out.

From there, the Green Wave handed the ball to Latham, who pitched out of the inning despite giving up a single and walking a runner. Hierlmeier's solo shot in the fifth game the Bulls the lead, but the freshman right- hander kept Tulane in the ballgame by retiring the next six men he faced, pitching his way out of a two-double seventh and a stranding a runner at third in the following frame.

The Green Wave had a shot to tie the game in the home half of the eighth as Dini hit a leadoff double, but Bogusevic flew out harmlessly to left in the ensuing at-bat, and the Tulane catcher was thrown out at the plate when trying to score on a single through the right side of the infield by senior third baseman Brian Bormaster. Bormaster went to second on the play at the dish, but pinch hitter Scott Madden lifted a long fly ball to centerfield to end the inning.

Following Baisley's grand slam in the top of the ninth, Southard reached on a one-out, infield single to the pitcher, but Holland hit into an unconventional 1-4-6-3 double play to end the game.

USF starter Casey Hudspeth (7-3) earned the win for the Bulls after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking three with no strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work, and Matt Ingram earned his third save of the season by scattering three hits in two scoreless innings of relief. Latham (3-2) did not fare as well, however, as the freshman was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 frames – his longest outing of the year.

The two teams will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1:07 p.m. In addition to both games being broadcast on the radio on WRBH 88.3 fm, Sunday's contest will be televised live on Cox Sports Television (local Channel 37) with Larry Matson and Bob Delgiorno, Jr. bringing baseball fans all the action from Turchin Stadium. The series finale will also be rebroadcast on CST on Monday at 7 p.m.

For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.


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