NEW ORLEANS – Junior center fielder Grant Witherspoon hit a grand slam to give Tulane the lead in the top of the eighth inning, but UNO scored two runs in the eighth and a run in the ninth to win 8-7 in the first game of the Pelican Cup series Tuesday evening at Maestri Field on the Lakefront.
— Privateers ⚾️ (@Privateers_BSB) March 7, 2018
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the eighth, Witherspoon hit a rocket out to right center for his first home run of the season. The grand slam plus an earlier RBI walk by sophomore second baseman Jonathon Artigues erased a 5-2 deficit and put the Green Wave (6-6) ahead, 7-5.
The Privateers (6-7), however, tied it 7-all with two runs in the bottom half of the eighth when left fielder Jay Robinson hit an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the ninth, third baseman Owen Magee doubled and later scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
Tulane trailed for most of the game after Robinson hit a grand slam in the second inning and Magee hit a solo homer in the third. The Green Wave recouped a run in the top of the third when Witherspoon singled home sophomore shortstop Sal Gozzo, who reached on a walk. Gozzo walked and scored again in the fifth inning, this time on Artigues’ double to right center, making the score 5-2.
In the Green Wave eighth, sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese was hit by a pitch, sophomore left fielder Grant Mathews chopped a single over first base and senior designated hitter Matt Rowland walked to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout and infield fly, Artigues drew a four-pitch walk to make it 5-3. Witherspoon drove a 1-2 pitch out of the park to give the Wave the 7-5 lead. It was his second career grand slam.
Witherspoon finished the game 2-for-4 with five RBI, which matched his career high, and Mathews was 2-for-3 and scored a run. The Green Wave left a runner on third base four times, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
Mathews Oset (2-0) earned the win for UNO, while senior Sam Bjorngjeld (0-1) absorbed the loss for Tulane.