Louisiana Tech downs Tulane in series opener, 2-0
NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University baseball team (9-8) fell in a 2-0 pitchers duel to Louisiana Tech (11-5) on Friday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Despite a solid performance from the Green Wave pitchers who struck out a combined 15 hitters, the bats mustered only one hit in Tulane’s first shutout defeat of the season.
Senior right-hander Braden Olthoff (2-1) took the hill for the Wave for his fifth start of the year and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out a season-high 11 hitters over seven strong innings.
“That’s always the goal when I go out there on Friday night,” Olthoff said. “It’s my job and my goal to give us a chance to win, and unfortunately, our bats were off tonight. I felt really good on the mound tonight. That’s the best I’ve felt this year.”
Redshirt junior Jonathan Fincher (4-1) got the start for the Bulldogs and pitched a one-hit shutout. Fincher struck out four and hit one batter.
“Jonathan was on tonight,” Tech head coach Lane Burroughs said. “You could just tell how the ball was coming out of his hand.
“He earned the right to finish. I am very proud of him. He was on and had all his pitches working while filling up the strike zone.”
After Louisiana Tech took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Olthoff settled down and struck out the side in the second. He came back out in the third to strike out two more hitters before a bunt groundout ended the inning.
The Bulldogs added another run in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to two.
Tulane’s offense was shut down for the first four innings, but an error on Ethan Groff’s bunt and a double by Simon Baumgardt put runners on second and third with one out. Chase Engelhard then lifted a fly ball to left field, but Groff was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Adarius Myers to preserve the Bulldogs’ 2-0 lead.
Olthoff struck out the side again in the seventh and came out for the eighth, but his night came to a close after he hit the leadoff batter with a pitch and was replaced by lefty Justin Campbell.
The bullpen quieted Louisiana Tech the rest of the way, but the Green Wave bats couldn’t get anything going, as they were retired in order the last four innings.
“I thought Braden pitched extremely well,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “Every time he’s touched the ball for our program he’s given us a chance to win. You have to give their guy all the credit in the world. He was able to execute his fastball and pitch into his defense all night. They got round one, but we are going to have to come back tomorrow and fight.”
Game two of the series starts tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
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