TU Goes 11 to Squeeze Past LSU: 5-4

The Tulane baseball team used LSU's own mistakes to make the Tigers pay in the Green Wave's 5-4, 11 inning victory over their arch rivals. Senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan overcomes his batting slump to deliver game-winning base hit to complete Green Wave comeback. The box score is included after the story.

If Tulane centerfielder Jonny Kaplan were a library book, his overdue fee would have been considerable. But in the midst of a 1-for-his-last-21 slump, Kaplan came up big for the Green Wave with an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the 11th to plate pinch-runner Wes Swackhamer from second base as the Green Wave baseball team defeated arch-rival LSU 5-4 in a thriller Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.

Kaplan's game-winning hit completed Tulane's biggest come-from-behind win of the year as the Green Wave erased a 4-0 LSU lead after five and a half innings. Junior reliever Joey Charron (1-2) came up big for the home team, striking out four and allowing just two hits in 4.1 scoreless innings of work to earn his first win of the year.

With the victory, Tulane improves to 14-4 on the year and will ride the momentum of a five-game winning strek into the weekend when the Green Wave will open Conference USA play with a three-game series at TCU. LSU, which had won five in a row coming into the contest, falls to 11-7.

Trailing 4-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, Tulane took advantage of an LSU error and a trio of walks to cut the lead to score three runs on just one hit. LSU starter Justin Meier was one out away from getting out of the inning unscathed after getting pinch-hitter Aaron Feldman to foul out to third for the second out of the frame, but junior catcher Brian Bormaster put the Green Wave on the board one batter later with an RBI-walk to send Meier to the shower.

Tiger coach Smoke Laval went to his bullpen in the form of Nate Bumstead, but the junior right-hander could not find the strike zone and issued back-to-back walks to designated hitter Gerald Clark and third baseman Corey Penedo to make it 4-3.

From there, Gary Smith came on for the Tigers to end the rally, but the Green Wave tied the score one inning later when freshman right fielder Brian Bogusevic drew a two-out walk and Manzella belted an RBI-double to left on at-bat later to tally Tulane's fourth run.

Until Kaplan's 11th-inning single, the game belonged to the relievers Charron and LSU's Billy Sadler.

Charron, the preseason All-Conference USA reliever, pitched himself into a few jams on a couple of occasions, but battled back each time to keep the Tigers off the board. The crafty southpaw stranded a pair of Tiger baserunners in the eighth, got out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the 10th and forced LSU to leave the go-ahead run at third in the top of the 11th.

Sadler, who came on with two out in the seventh, retiring the first 11 Tulane batters he faced. But in the 11th, the junior righty gave up back-to-back one-out walks to Clark and reserve third baseman Turner Brumby to set up Kaplan's heroics.

Manzella went 3-for-5, including the key RBI-double in the seventh, to lead the Wave. Junior first baseman Michael Aubrey also had a multiple-hit night, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

The Green Wave returns to action on Friday, March 14 when they travel to Fort Worth to open the C-USA season with a 6:30 p.m. contest at the new Lupton Stadium.

 

Box Score

#16 LSU at #21 Tulane
                March 11 at Metairie, La. (Zephyr Field)

LSU 4 (11-7)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
------------------------------------------------------------
J.C. Holt cf.............  5  1  2  1   0  2  0  0   0  .279
Quinn Stewart dh.........  6  0  2  0   0  2  0  0   1  .275
Ivan Naccarata 3b........  5  1  1  0   1  1  2  4   2  .354
Aaron Hill ss............  3  0  1  1   2  0  1  5   0  .311
Blake Gill 2b............  4  0  1  1   0  1  1  6   0  .268
Clay Harris 1b...........  4  1  1  0   1  1 14  0   2  .389
Bruce Sprowl lf..........  5  0  2  1   0  0  0  0   0  .310
Dustin Weaver c..........  5  0  0  0   0  0  9  0   6  .281
Ryan Patterson rf........  4  1  1  0   1  2  3  0   0  .292
Justin Meier p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
Nate Bumstead p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
Greg Smith p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
Billy Sadler p..........  0  0  0 


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