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Tulane Green Wave

Wave tops UCF 4-3

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NEW ORLEANS – Grant Brown drove in three runs and J.P. France finished with a season-high eight strikeouts to lead Tulane baseball to a 4-3 win over UCF to even their American Athletic Conference series Saturday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

Brown hit a two-run double with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to tie the game, and then gave the Green Wave (23-25, 10-7 American) the lead in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single. France (5-3) allowed just one earned run, four hits and no walks over 8.0 innings. Christian Colletti faced three batters in the ninth to earn his eighth save.

Brown finished the game 2-for-2 with three RBI, Hunter Hope homered in the fifth to give the Wave a 3-2 lead, and Lex Kaplan scored twice. UCF reliever Bryce Tucker (2-1) took the loss in relief for the Knights (32-15, 10-7 American).

"I liked the response today. France did a good job," Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. "Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it, and that's what we did today as a team. We responded, and it gives us a chance to win the series tomorrow. I'm proud of the guys and I'm happy for their success."

UCF took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Eli Putnam and Brennan Bozeman hit consecutive doubles, the second of which was a check swing contact that landed just inside the right field foul line. Bozeman scored after a would-be inning-ending strikeout on a pitch on the ground was overthrown to first base.

Tulane was hitless until the fourth inning when Grant Witherspoon reached on an infield single, Kaplan drove a hit to left, and Williams reached on an infield single. Brown followed with a drive to right center that appeared to bounce over the top of the outfield wall and back in to play, but was ruled a double. Witherspoon and Kaplan scored on the play, but Williams was tagged out at the plate, and the score was tied, 2-2.

Hope gave the Green Wave the lead, 3-2, with a solo home run to left center in the fifth inning. It was his ninth of the season.

Brown delivered an RBI single to center field in the bottom of the eighth to plate the winning run. Kaplan drew a one-out walk, and Williams cued a base hit to second base to set up Brown's run-producing hit. UCF had tied the game, 3-3, on an error and RBI single by Luke Hamblin in the top of the eighth.

Colletti entered to begin the ninth, and after a leadoff single, he forced a fly out to right, and a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and preserve the victory.

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