Wave Defeats McNeese In Home Opener, 5-3

Redshirt-freshman Stephen Porlier tosses 7 shutout innings; Latham closes door: and true freshman Aja Barto breaks scoring ice for Green Wave with two-run homer

METAIRIE, La.–Redshirt-freshman Stephen Porlier may have been making his first collegiate start, but one would be hard pressed to convince a Cowboy hitter of that fact as the Tulane University baseball team defeated McNeese State, 5-3, in the 2006 home opener Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.

Porlier, who pitched just one inning for the Green Wave in 2005 after undergoing Tommy John surgery as a high school senior, scattered four hits and a walk while striking out four in seven shutout innings to earn his first career victory. Junior right-hander Daniel Latham, meanwhile, tossed the final 1.2 frames, allowing just one hit, to earn his second save of the year.

"I was very impressed with Stephen Porlier, and of course Daniel Latham was once again very good," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "Porlier threw very well. He mixed three pitches tonight and really pounded the strike zone."

With the win, Tulane improves to 3-1 on the season. In addition, Jones claimed his 700^th career win at the Division I level, three days after earning career win No. 800 vs. Texas Tech in day two of the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. McNeese State, meanwhile, falls to 2-3 in 2006.

While Porlier and Latham were taking care of business on the mound, rookie right fielder Aja Barto sparked a four-run fifth with a two-run homer to break a scoreless tie. Following Bartow's bomb, sophomore shortstop Cat Everett drew a walk, and with two-out, rookie designated hitter Nate Simon ripped a double to the gap in left center to make it 3-0.

Sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus – who went 3-for-4 with an RBI – made it a 4-0 contest in the ensuing at-bat with a run-scoring single to center.

Tulane added an insurance run in the seventh when junior first baseman Mark Hamilton ripped an RBI single up the middle, but the Cowboys refused to away quietly.

Porlier had kept McNeese State off balance, but the Cowboys posted three singles and a walk off reliever Matt Goebel, who missed all of last season with an elbow injury. Back-to-back RBI singles by left fielder Chris Fontenot and shortstop Bryan Cartie made it a 5-2 game and Latham was called on with runners on the corners and only one out.

Latham used a good move to pick off Cartie at first, and following an RBI single by clean-up hitter Tyler Dugas, got centerfielder Charlie Kingrey to fly out harmlessly to center to get out of the jam with no more damage done.

The Green Wave return to action on Friday, Feb. 17, when they open a three-game weekend against Penn State at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For 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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