NEW ORLEANS – Senior designated hitter Matt Rowland delivered a bases-loaded infield single to score sophomore second baseman Jonathon Artigues and give Tulane baseball an 8-7 series-clinching win over Cincinnati Saturday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
— Tulane Baseball (@GreenWaveBSB) March 24, 2018
The Green Wave (11-13, 2-0 American) fell behind 4-1 in the sixth inning but scored six runs in the next two innings to take the lead before breaking a tie in the bottom of the ninth. Junior first baseman Trevor Jensen hit a solo home run in the second inning to get the early lead, and after the Bearcats (9-12, 0-2 American) scored three in the sixth, junior center fielder Grant Witherspoon hit a monster two-run home run to cut it to 4-3.
Started out conference play with a W! Check out all the top plays from last night's victory! #RollWave 🌊⚾️
Posted by Tulane Baseball on Saturday, March 24, 2018
A four-run seventh inning on the strength of three doubles gave Tulane a 7-5 lead, but Cincinnati scored one run in the eighth and one in the ninth to tie the game. Artigues led off the bottom of the last with a double off the right field wall and went to third on a wild pitch. Rowland came up after a pair of intentional walks loaded the bases and hit a chopper to third base allowing Artigues to score.
“We call them punches, and regardless of where they land, it’s about the ability to stay on your feet,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “Witherspoon’s big swing put us right back within one and it allowed us to just take a deep breath and get back on our feet. Sometimes in these moments when things go against us, which they have at times, we just have to stay fighting. We’ve been responsive at home and when we’ve been punched we’ve been able to come back. It’s the sign of a good team.”
Jensen hit his first home run at Tulane – a solo shot off the batter’s eye in straightaway center field – in the second inning to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead. Cincinnati tied it on an RBI single in the fourth by left fielder Joey Wiemer.
The Green Wave scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth on Witherspoon’s mammoth home run over the protective netting above the right center field fence and well into the Claiborne parking lot to cut it to 4-3. Cincinnati had taken a 4-1 lead in the top half, as a fly ball fell between two outfielders to start the inning and was followed by an RBI single by shortstop Manny Rodriguez and a two-run home run by right fielder A.J. Bumpass.
After the Bearcats made it 5-3 in the seventh on a wild pitch, Tulane’s eighth and ninth hitters came through to start the four-run rally. Freshman left fielder David Bedgood doubled to right center and junior catcher Acy Owen doubled him home with a hard shot down the right field line. Artigues reached on a fielder’s choice and scored the tying run from second when a pickoff attempt at first base hit Witherspoon and rolled down the right field line.
Sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese, who was 2-for-3 in the game, lined a single to left scoring Witherspoon, and Jensen doubled to the gap in left center to plate Hoese and give the Wave a 7-5 lead. Tulane’s first five hitters collected 10 of the team’s 13 hits, as well as six RBI and seven runs.
Cincinnati cut it to 7-6 on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth and then tied it on a wild pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Starter Ben White cruised through the first five innings, retiring the visitors in order four times. Freshman Connor Pellerin (2-0) pitched the ninth inning and earned his second win of the season. Cincinnati reliever Doug Lowe II (0-2) took the loss.
Tulane and Cincinnati conclude the series at noon Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at TulaneTix.com or in person at the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office in the James W. Wilson Jr. Center. The game will be streamed online and can be heard on 88.3 FM WRBH or via TuneIn Radio.