Tulane Drops Season Opener To TCU, 5-3

Shortstop Cat Everett and catcher Max Kwan post two hits each as the Green Wave falls in extra innings

HOUSTON, Texas–Horned Frog designated hitter Matt McQuirk hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 5-3 extra-inning affair to TCU in the season opener for both teams Friday afternoon in the 2006 Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.

Tulane trailed 3-2 after seven and a half innings, but freshman pinch hitter Anthony Scelfo hit a leadoff single and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of sophomore shortstop Cat Everett to tie the game. Tulane had a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, but TCU reliever Shawn Ferguson was able to pitch his way out of the jam and set up McQuirk's game-deciding home run.

"We did not pitch as well out of the bullpen as we needed to," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We left some balls up, and they took advantage of it. We had a chance to win late and didn't, and we left a couple of guys at third base with less than two out. I was pleased with our effort today, but there are no moral victories."

Tulane had its chances to break the game open throughout the contest, but the Green Wave stranded 13 runners on base, including eight in scoring position. Twice Tulane loaded the bases, but could only scratch across one run. One of the Green Wave rallies was thwarted by a interference-call double play in the third, and Ferguson got a groundball in the ninth to send the game to extra innings tied at 3-all.

Tulane drew first blood in the third when sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus plated senior centerfielder Nathan Southard with a one-out single. The score remained that way until the seventh when the Horned Frogs took advantage of a two-out error to take a 2-1 advantage.

The Green Wave answered with a run of their own in the home half of the frame to tie the game, but TCU came right back with a run-scoring single by Andrew Walker and Everett re-tied the game in the bottom of the frame.

Lost in the late inning fireworks was a solid 6.1-inning start by junior right-hander Brandon Gomes, who did not allow an earned run on eight hits while walking none and striking out four. Junior reliever Daniel Latham (0-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits while striking out three in 3.0 innings.

Ferguson (1-0) went 2.2 frames for the TCU win, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a pair.

Tulane returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 11, when the Green Wave take on its fall host – Texas Tech – at noon. Prior to the first pitch, representatives of the team will present the Red Raiders with a banner to thank them for all the help Texas Tech offered Tulane following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Green Wave will close out play in the Houston College Classic on Sunday vs. defending national champion Texas at 2:30 p.m. Both of those game will be broadcast live on the radio by flagship station of Green Wave baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and it can also be heard on the internet via the All-Access Pass at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.

Following the weekend at Minute Maid Park, Tulane opens the home portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 14, when the Green Wave play host to McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For season ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-247-1240. The Ticket Office is currently located in the lobby of Fogelman Arena, and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.


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