NEW ORLEANS, La.–Freshman third baseman Brad Emaus and senior first baseman Scott Madden each hit two-run doubles in the bottom of the eighth as the No. 3 Tulane University baseball team completed a sweep of No. 25 East Carolina in an eight-inning Conference USA contest Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
The Green Wave trailed 6-4 after seven and a half, and Pirates' closer T.J. Hose had not allowed a hit since coming on with two out in the fourth. Hose retired the first two men he faced in the eighth, but Tulane would post four knocks and took advantage of a walk to complete the comeback and jump out to its best start in the 10-year history of C-USA.
In accordance with C-USA rules, no inning can begin after 4 p.m. due to team travel, and the game was halted after eight. With the win, the Green Wave improve to 19-3 on the year and 3-0 in conference play. East Carolina, meanwhile, falls to 12-7 overall and 0-3 in league action.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to our kids this weekend," head coach Rick Jones said. "They played real hard against an outstanding club. And today, to come back with two out and nobody on and string together three hits, that says a lot about our ability level and certainly about our fortitude."
Senior second baseman Joe Holland started the eighth-inning rally with a single to left, and junior centerfielder Nathan Southard followed with a base hit of his own. From there, Emaus golfed an opposite-field double to right to tie the game, and following a walk by senior shortstop Tommy Manzella, Madden crushed a double off the wall in right central to account for the winning runs.
Freshman Sean Morgan (3-0), who began the day as the designated hitter before taking the mound to start the sixth, earned the win after giving up one run on three hits in 3.0 innings. His lone blemish of the day was a two-out solo home run by East Carolina left fielder Drew Costanzo that made it a 6-4 ballgame.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as right fielder Harrison Eldridge hit a one-out single, third baseman Mark Minicozzi and designated hitter Mike Grace hit back-to-back RBI-doubles, and catcher Jake Smith hit a sacrifice fly to center in the first inning.
Tulane would tie things up in the third courtesy of an RBI-single by Emaus, a sacrifice fly by Manzella and an RBI-double by Madden, and the Green Wave would take a 4-3 advantage one inning later on an RBI single by Southard. The lead would not last long, however, as Smith hammered a two-run homer to left central in the fifth.
Hose (1-1) was dominant for most of is time on the mound, striking out the first man he faced and pitching his way around four walks in a two-inning span. He retired eight batters in a row at one point, including the first two of the eighth inning, but Hose was not able to record the final out of the frame until the Green Wave had turned a two-run deficit into a two-run victory.
Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, March 22, when the Green Wave play host to Northwestern State in a businessman's special at 1 p.m. at Turchin Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.
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