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.

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.