Tulane drops series rubber game at Houston, 5-2

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HOUSTON, Texas – Not even 12 hours removed from their marathon win in the early morning hours, the Tulane baseball team returned to the field and did all they could to take the rubber match against the Houston Cougars on Sunday, falling just short in a 5-2 loss at Sanders Field at Schroeder Park.

Three runs were all that stood between the two teams, as Tulane (29-22, 11-9 American) rallied by scoring a pair of runs thanks to Houston’s (31-19, 11-10) second error of the day in the waning innings of the contest. Unfortunately, the Green Wave would not be able to get any further as Houston plated a pair of runs in the eighth to get a bit of insurance and hold off Tulane in the end.

Grant Mathews had two of Tulane’s four hits, driving in two, while Jonathon Artigues and Luke Glancy had the other two.

Starter Chase Solesky (5-3) got the loss as he finished the day allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in five innings of work. Krishna Raj allowed a run on two hits, striking out two in two innings, with Brendan Cellucci allowing two runs on three hits in an inning.

Houston’s Ryan Randel (4-2) pitched 7.1 innings and scattered three hits, allowing two unearned runs while striking out five and walking three. Nolan Bond (1) picked up the save as he pitched the final 1.2 innings with a hit and a strikeout.

Derrick Cherry had three of Houston’s six hits, providing the go-ahead hit that drove in the first two runs for the Cougars in the contest, with Lael Lockhart having two.

Tulane had its best chance to strike early coming in the second inning, as Mathews opened with a single to left center to open the inning. After an out to right, Glancy singled to right to put two Green Wave runners on base. A sharp liner to first nearly ended the inning with a chance at a double play, but an error put runners at the corners with two outs. Unfortunately, a fly out to center ended the inning.

In the third, consecutive walks put two Houston runners on base with a sacrifice bunt advancing the two runners to second and third. A single to center on the very next play brought in the pair of runners to put the Cougars ahead 2-0. Houston would add another run in the seventh on a double to center to make it 3-0.

With an out in the eighth Sal Gozzo was hit by a pitch to reach first, as Trevor Jensen smoked a ball down the left field line that was misplayed at third as the two-base error now put Tulane runners at second and third. Kody Hoese was intentionally walked, as Randel was pulled for Bond.

A liner to third was the second out of the inning, but Mathews dropped a single into right to plate two to pull Tulane within one at 3-2 with runners at the corners, but the rally ended after a grounder to third.

Houston extended their lead to five after plating two more runs on three hits to push the advantage to 5-2.

Tulane opens the final week of the regular season on Tuesday night, hosting the South Alabama Jaguars at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

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