Miscues cost Tulane in 7-6 loss to Army

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CARY, N.C. – The Tulane Green Wave baseball team was staring down a weekend sweep of action in the 2019 Army Invitational, but a trio of errors, including one in the bottom of the ninth that allowed the winning run to score, doomed the team to a 7-6 loss to Army Sunday afternoon at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.

The Black Knights (5-4) wouldn’t quit, and after Tulane (9-3) battled back to take and extend the lead twice after the score was knotted at 3-3, the Green Wave couldn’t hold on in the end as Army rebounded to score four runs in the final three innings to keep the game close before capturing the comeback.

Tulane was led at the plate by catcher Frankie Niemann and third baseman Kody Hoese, as the duo combined for six of Tulane’s eight hits in the game. Niemann had a career day going 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Hoese was 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

David Bedgood drove in two in the game, while Grant Mathews brought in a run on one hit and scored Sunday.

Starting pitcher Chase Solesky allowed three runs, two earned, with four strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings of work, scattering four Army hits. Trent Johnson was the first reliever out of the bullpen and allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout through the next 1.1 innings, with Connor Pellerin (1-1) suffering the loss in the end as he gave up three runs, two earned, on a pair of hits with three walks.

Jeremiah Adams and Trey Martin each had two hits for the Black Knights, with Martin scoring twice in the win for Army. Pitcher Daniel Burggraaf allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks, with Cam Opp (1-0) pitching the final three innings as all three runs he gave up were unearned with two strikeouts and a walk.

After a walk to Trevor Jensen to open the game, Hoese singled through the left side to put two on for the Green Wave. A wild pitch advanced the two to second and third as Mathews flew out to deep center to put Tulane on top 1-0 with the sacrifice fly.

With an out in the third Hoese came through with another single to center, with Mathews roping a shot to left field to put two on. A walk to Kobi Owen loaded the bases as Army couldn’t turn the double play after a Bedgood grounder to first base which allowed a run to score and advance the runners to second and third.

A wild pitch allowed Mathews to score as Tulane led at that point 3-0.

Army got hot in the bottom half of the inning as a double down the line with one out put a Black Knight runner on base. A strikeout put two outs on the board, but consecutive singles after that plated two runs to cut into the Tulane lead at 3-2.

An error to the opening batter caused problems for the Tulane lead in the bottom of the sixth as the runner would come around to score to tie the game at 3-3 and end Solesky’s day on the mound.

Niemann led off the seventh with a single through the left side, as Sal Gozzo used a sacrifice bunt to move the catcher to second. Jensen flied out to deep center with Niemann tagging up to reach third. Hoese was intentionally walked to put runners at the corners, but on the next play a throwing error from short and a missed tag on Mathews allowed both Tulane runners to score to give the Green Wave the lead back at 5-3.

Army scored in the bottom of the frame to pull within one, as in the top of the eighth Owen led off the inning with a double, moving to third after a throwing error in the outfield. Aaron McKeithan came on to pinch hit and hit a deep fly out to right to score Owen to push the lead to 6-4.

Pellerin came on for the rest of the game and Army made things close by getting a leadoff double to start, with consecutive groundouts bringing in the run to make it 6-5. However, Pellerin would stand firm from there to strand two Black Knight runners at second and third.

In the bottom of the ninth, Pellerin was able to get a strikeout to open the inning. A walk to the next batter proved costly as two stolen bases moved the Army runner to third. A grounder to third kept the runner at bay and put two outs on the board, but a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score to level the game at 6-6.

Consecutive walks put two runners on, as a grounder to second was misplayed and rendered everyone safe, with the lead runner charging for home and the throw in not coming in time to plate the game-winning run for the Black Knights.

Tulane returns to action on Wednesday, hosting the Texas Southern Tigers at 5 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

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