GREENVILLE, N.C.–The Tulane University baseball team stared a loss squarely in the eye twice, and in both instances, Conference USA rival East Carolina blinked first as the Green Wave erased a 5-4 deficit after eight innings with a five-run ninth to defeat the homestanding Pirates, 9-5, Friday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Tulane (29-15, 6-6) out-hit East Carolina (27-16, 6-6), 11-7, but five of the hits came in the final stanza and none was bigger than sophomore second baseman Brad Emaus' two-out, bases-loaded double down the left field line to break a 5-all tie. The win was the seventh in a row for the Green Wave and marked the second time this year that Tulane came from behind when trailing after eight innings.
"That's why you play 27 outs," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "You just don't know what's going to happen. Our club just kept fighting and
we had some really good at-bats in the ninth."
Down by a run, freshman pinch hitter Anthony Scelfo got things going in the ninth with a leadoff single to left. Following a sacrifice bunt by senior left fielder Matt Riser, sophomore shortstop Cat Everett singled
and redshirt-freshman right fielder Warren McFadden ripped an RBI-double to the gap in right center to make it a tie ballgame.
With runners at second and third and only one out, East Carolina walked junior first baseman Mark Hamilton to set up a potential double play.
The move nearly paid off as Chris Powell – the fourth pitcher used by the Pirates – got an infield pop-up for the second out of
Emaus, however, had other ideas. After taking a borderline pitch to make the count full, he sent the next Powell offering down the left field line to clear the bases and all but wrap up the ballgame. Emaus went to third on an unsuccessful throw to the plate, and freshman third baseman Seth Henry followed with an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to account for the final score.
Junior reliever Daniel Latham (3-2) earned the win, but not before giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Pirates a 5-4
advantage. After Tulane's five-run ninth, Latham gave up a leadoff walk to reserve designated hitter Ryan Tousley, but retired the next three
batters he faced to spark the Tulane celebration.
The Pirates jumped on Tulane early as shortstop Dale Mollenhauer ripped a double down the left field line with one out in the first, and catcher Jake Smith followed with an RBI-single to shallow center to give East Carolina a 1-0 advantage.
The lead would not hold, however, as Pirates' starter Shane Matthews plunked Hamilton with two-out in the fourth, and senior centerfielder
Nathan Southard followed with a two-run homer deep to left to give the Green Wave a 2-1 lead.
Tulane threatened but could not score over the next two innings, but East Carolina got things going again in the seventh as centerfielder
Jay Mattox walked and third baseman Jake Dean was plunked. Tousley was called on to pinch hit and came through with an RBI-double to right, and Dean scored all the way from first on an error.
Left fielder Harrison Eldridge followed with a sacrifice fly to give ECU a two-run lead, but Tulane came back in the eighth when McFadden hit a one-out single to short and advanced to second on a wild throw to first, and Hamilton followed with his 13^th homer of the year to tie the game.
East Carolina did not go away, though, as first baseman Adam Witter was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a two-out, RBI-single off
the bat of Mattox to give the Pirates a one-run advantage and set up an eventful ninth inning.
Kevin Rhoades (3-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on three hits while walking and striking out another in two-third of an inning.
Tulane and East Carolina continue the series on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CDT) and close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 10 a.m. Both games will be broadcast on the flagship station of Tulane baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and can also be heard on the internet at
www.TulaneGreenWave.com to all fans signed up for the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats are available free of charge on the official
website of Tulane Athletics via GameTracker.
Following the trip to Greenville, N.C., Tulane returns to Zephyr Field on Tuesday, May 2, when it takes on McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. For
ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Ticket Office has recently returned to its usual location on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or www.TicketMaster.com.
Wave Rallies For 9-5 C-USA Win At ECU
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