Comeback falls short as Tulane drops series finale to Cincinnati
NEW ORLEANS – A ninth inning comeback by the Tulane University baseball team (29-19-1, 10-8) fell just shy in the rubber match against Cincinnati (19-25, 9-9) as the Green Wave fell 8-7 on Sunday inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Wave offense collected 15 hits on the afternoon but was unable to produce enough with runners on base leaving 12 stranded on the day.
Tulane put the first run on the board in the bottom of the first but spent the remainder of the contest battling from behind after giving up at least one run in each of the next four innings.
Freshman Michael Massey (3-4) made his 11th start of the season for the Green Wave and surrendered four runs on seven hits in just four innings on the bump. He also picked up five punchouts against Bearcat hitters.
Senior Tristan Weaver (5-5) got the start for Cincinnati tossing five innings while allowing two runs on six hits to earn his fifth win of the season.
In the bottom of the first, the Green Wave got the scoring going thanks to the hustle of Bennet Lee as the sophomore raced home from second on a hard-hit RBI single to second base by freshman Jackson Linn.
Back-to-back hits to lead off the second inning by Cincinnati set up a sacrifice fly for the Bearcats to even the score 1-1.
After a one-out solo homerun by the Bearcats in the top of the third, Massey worked out of a jam with runners on second and third to limit the damage to just one run in the frame.
Cincinnati tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run shot to left field putting the Wave down 4-1.
Tulane made the call to the bullpen to start the fifth inning bringing in freshman Chandler Welch before the Bearcats hit their third long ball of the day on a solo homerun over the right field wall. Welch picked up his first of three strikeouts on the afternoon to end the inning.
The Green Wave got a run back when Linn delivered a double into the left field corner to score Luis Aviles from first to cut the deficit to 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.
After a scoreless frame by Welch in the top of the sixth, Tulane went back to the bullpen in the seventh and Cincinnati quickly loaded the bases forcing the Wave to go back to the pen bringing on Keaton Knueppel. The senior recorded the first out of the frame on a sacrifice fly to right field that scored a run for the Bearcats. Senior right-hander Clifton Slagel closed out the frame by getting a ground ball double play to limit the damage.
In the bottom half of the seventh Tulane began chipping away again with a pair of runs to pull withing two 6-4. Following a walk by Aviles and Linn’s third hit of the afternoon Brady Marget found a hole through the right side of the infield to score Aviles for pinch-hit RBI single. In the next at bat Simon Baumgardt brought home Linn with a sacrifice fly to right field for his 17th RBI of the year.
Following a two-run top of the eighth for Cincinnati, the Wave responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame on an RBI infield-single off the bat of freshman Gavin Schulz. The run batted in by the New Orleans product put Tulane within three runs, 8-5, heading into the final inning.
Freshman Ben Tate gave the Green Wave a chance by working 1.2 scoreless innings in his sixth appearance of the season and his first in AAC play.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Baumgardt followed a leadoff single by Brady Marget by launching a two-run bomb to center field to bring the tying run to the plate for Tulane. After a single, a groundout, and a wild pitch Trevor Minder stood at third base 90 feet from scoring the tying run for the Wave, but he would be left stranded to end the game.
UP NEXT: Tulane will host South Alabama on Tuesday, May 10, inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
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