Late rally not enough for Tulane in 7-4 loss to UCSB in series opener

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NEW ORLEANS – After watching the visitors score seven runs over the course of four innings, the Tulane baseball team made a game of it late but wouldn’t be able to overtake visiting UC Santa Barbara in a 7-4 series-opening loss Friday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

After getting the first two hits of the game, it would be tough sledding for the Green Wave (10-4) as they would be unable to get anything going offensively until the eighth when the home side pushed four runs across thanks to home runs from Acy Owen and Kody Hoese. However, the squad wouldn’t be able to recreate that same magic in the ninth.

“We’ve got to give their side a lot of credit, it’s really the first time all year we’ve really been held down offensively,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “Credit where credit is due, but hopefully we can take what we did in the eighth and have it carry over into tomorrow.”

Owen crushed his first home run of the season on a two-run shot to put Tulane on the board in the bottom of the eighth, while Hoese would extend his team-leading mark to seven with his own two-run shot in the same frame. Trevor Jensen had two hits, while Kobi Owen had the other for the Green Wave.

Tulane starter Kaleb Roper (1-2) struck out six in his fourth start of the season, but UCSB (9-2) would chase the righty from the game after just 3.2 innings of work after getting five runs on seven hits with five walks. Krishna Raj came in to see the bulk of the final innings and struck out seven in 4.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks.

Landon Boeneke and Justin Campbell combined to pitch the final 1.1 innings, keeping the Gauchos off the board to keep the game within reach.

UCSB’s Ben Brecht (2-0) at one point retired 17 Tulane batters from the second to the seventh inning, as he finished the night fanning 11 with two runs given up on three hits and two walks. Michael McGreevy (1) earned the save after coming on for Liam Steigerwald, who gave up two runs in a third of an inning to hold off Tulane with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings pitched.

The Gauchos finished with 11 hits in the game, led by leadoff batter Tommy Jew’s 3-for-6 day with two RBI and a run scored. On the day, four UCSB batters would go on to earn multiple hits in the contest.

UCSB jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third after getting four hits, plating two more runs in the second and a run each in the fifth and sixth. In the eighth, Jonathon Artigues drew a walk to put the first Tulane runner on base in more than six innings, as after a fly out to center Owen pounced on the first pitch he saw to put Tulane on the board at 7-2.

After a grounder to second for the second out of the frame, Jensen earned his second base hit and Hoese would do the rest from there with his own home run to right to cut the UCSB lead to 7-4.

First pitch for game two of the series is set for 2 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium Saturday.

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