METAIRIE, La.–Senior second baseman Joe Holland went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and a career-high five RBI, and the Green Wave blew open a 4-4 game with seven runs in the fourth, as the No. 1 ranked Tulane University baseball team defeated arch-rival LSU, 11-8, before a Zephyr Field-record 12,069 fans Tuesday evening at "The Shrine on Airline."
The win gave head coach Rick Jones his 500th career victory at Tulane, and marked the first time the Green Wave swept the regular-season series from the Tigers since the 2001 College World Series season. With the victory, Tulane has now won 13 of its last 14 games while improving to 33-6 on the year. LSU, meanwhile falls to 26-13 in 2005.
"It feels good to win," said Jones, who improved to 776-324-2 in his 20th season as a college coach, including a 674-292-1 mark at the Division I level. "Tonight was a great win for us. We really put together some great at-bats. We haven't had an inning like (the seven-run fourth) this season."
LSU jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one and a half innings, but the Green Wave tied the score with a single run in the bottom of the second and a pair in the fourth. The game was decided an inning later as Tulane pounded out six knocks, hit for the cycle and sent 12 men to the plate.
The Tigers would make a game of it with a pair of runs in the fifth and single tallies in the eighth and ninth inning, but with a runner on second base and two away, sophomore right-hander Daniel Latham got LSU second baseman Clay Harris on a check-swing strikeout to close out the win and earn his sixth save of the season.
Senior catcher Greg Dini and rookie third baseman Brad Emaus joined Holland in the multiple-hit club with three and two hits, respectively, but it was junior first baseman Micah Owings who delivered the biggest blow of the game when he worked a nine-pitch at-bat into a three-run triple in the fourth to break a 4-4 tie.
Senior left fielder Matt Barket followed with an RBI-single to left central, and following a double by senior designated hitter Scott Madden, Holland turned on a 2-2 offering from Tigers' reliever Eric English and sent it over the wall to left to put the Green Wave comfortably ahead, 11-4.
Tulane starter J.R. Crowel gave up four runs in the first two innings, but overcame the rocky start to give the Green Wave five solid innings to improve to 8-0 on the year. Junior right-hander Billy Mohl kept LSU off balance for most of the next four innings, giving up a run in the eighth and ninth innings, before giving way to Latham with one out left in the contest.
The Tigers roared out of the gates as left fielder Ryan Patterson sparked a two-out rally with a double to left center, right fielder Nick Stavinoha followed with an RBI-double to the exact same spot, and Harris posted the first of four hits on the day with a two-run homer to left.
Tulane would get on the board in the home half of the inning as junior centerfielder Nathan Southard drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a single by Emaus and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior right fielder Brian Bogusevic.
LSU got the run back in the second when first baseman Will Harris reached via error to lead off the frame and scored on an RBI-single by designated hitter Blake Gill, but Tulane would answer once again as Holland hit a leadoff double, went to second on a single by Dini and scored on a bloop single by Southard to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
The Green Wave were able to take advantage of a trio of hit batsmen in the third as LSU starter Brandon Nall plunked senior shortstop Tommy Manzella, Bogusevic and Madden to load the bases, and Holland made the free passes hurt with a two-run single to right to tie the game and set the stage for the seven-run fourth.
Nall, who would leave the game after hitting Southard to start the fifth, was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and four hit batsmen while striking out two and walking one in three-plus innings of work
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, April 22, when Tulane travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., to take on Conference USA foe Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park. The two teams will do battle again on Saturday at 4 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM, and Saturday's ballgame will be simulcast on WTIX AM 690.
No.1 Tulane Defeats Arch-rival LSU, 11-8
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