No. 1 seed Houston exacts revenge, eliminates No. 8 Tulane, 18-7
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Tulane baseball season came to an end Thursday in the American Athletic Conference Championship with an 18-7 defeat to top-seeded Houston at Spectrum Field.
The Green Wave scored five runs in the third inning to cut the deficit to 7-5, but the Cougars scored nine runs in the fourth inning and added two more in the sixth. Tulane plated two more runs in the seventh, but it was not enough as the Wave ended their season at 25-33. Houston improved to 35-22 with the win.
Junior center fielder Grant Witherspoon recorded two hits in the game to reach the 200-hit milestone in three seasons. Sophomore Luke Glancy led Tulane with three hits and two RBI, junior first baseman Trevor Jensen finished with two hits and scored two runs, and sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese collected two hits and an RBI. Tulane sophomore Trent Johnson took the loss and fell to 4-3 on the year while Houston reliever Fred Villarreal improved to 1-2 in the win.
“Obviously the start put us behind the eight ball, but I was proud of the kids for continuing to battle,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “Houston jumped out to an early lead, and I though our guys did a good job offensively just trying to get back in it. We made it 7-5 with momentum back in our dugout, but they had a nine-run inning and we were swinging uphill the rest of the day from there.”
After Houston scored four runs in the first inning and three runs in the third, Tulane pulled within 7-5 in the bottom of the third. Sophomore shortstop Sal Gozzo started it with a one-out bunt single, and junior catcher Acy Owen, sophomore second baseman Jonathon Artigues and Witherspoon followed with four more consecutive base hits to plate three runs. Hoese and Glancy then lined two-out singles to drive in two more runs and total five in the frame.
In the seventh, Witherspoon singled up the middle with his 200th career hit with one out. Jensen then singled, and Mathews flew a sacrifice fly to score Witherspoon. Hoese picked up his second hit of the game, and Glancy lined a single to left center to score Jensen and make the score 18-7.
“What can you say about Witherspoon’s career? It’s been fun to watch him grow physically and how his game has prospered,” Jewett said. “I think he’s got a hell of a future ahead of him. Anybody that can collect 200 hits in a three-year span, that says something. And doing it while he’s a marked man, in terms of being on other teams’ scouting reports and who they’re not going to let beat them. It’s 200 times, probably two, in terms of its value. I look forward to following his career, because it’s certainly going to be a good one.”
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Houston 18, Tulane 7 (May 24, 2018 at Clearwater, Fla.)
Houston…………. 403 902 0 – 18 15 0 (35-22)
Tulane………….. 005 000 2 – 7 12 1 (25-33)
Pitchers: Houston – RANDEL, Ryan; OTT, Kyle(3); VILLARREAL, Fred(4); HENRY, Carter(7) and
LOVELACE, Kyle. Tulane – JOHNSON, Trent; BATES, Josh(3); BJORNGJELD, Sam(4); McAFFER, Will(4); PRICE, Robert(6); GREEN, Ryan(7) and OWEN, Acy.
Win-VILLARREAL, Fred(1-2) Loss-JOHNSON, Trent(4-3) T-3:10 A-0
HR HOU – DAVIS, Joe (10).
Weather: Cloudy, warm, 76
BATES faced 4 batters in the 4th.
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