Tulane holds off Cincinnati to even weekend series

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Tulane baseball
(Photo: Parker Waters)

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University baseball team (29-18-1;10-7) defeated the University of Cincinnati (18-25;8-9) in a 4-3 ballgame on Saturday afternoon inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

The Green Wave hit two home runs and only needed two pitchers to down the Bearcats potent offense and even the series.

Freshman Grant Siegel made his eighth start of the year for the Wave and tossed six innings of two-run ball. Siegel recorded two strikeouts and no walks.

“What we needed after a tough loss was for Grant to get himself established and he did,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “He got in there did his thing, got after the strike zone, and it worked out well for us tonight.”

Sophomore Conner Linn started for the Bearcats and gave up four earned runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work.

In the top of the second, Cincinnati’s Griffin Merritt led off with a double before getting moved to third on a groundout. Siegel was able to strand Merritt, coaxing a pop out and a flyout from the next two Bearcat hitters to preserve the 0-0 deadlock.

Freshman Jackson Linn led off the bottom of the second with his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot. Linn turned around a fastball that went 424 feet off the net in left-center. The ball left Linn’s bat at 113 mph, the second-hardest hit ball of the year by a Tulane hitter.

The Bearcats tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third.

The Green Wave reclaimed a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run, two-strike home run by Luis Aviles, his 10th of the season.

“We had a lot of energy today,” Aviles said. “Based off what happened last year there’s a little vengeance there. We didn’t need much motivation to show up today.”

Tulane extended its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI-double down the left field line by Teo Banks.

Cincinnati closed the gap to 4-3 with one run in both the top of the sixth and the seventh. The Bearcats threatened to add on in the seventh as they put runners on second and third with two outs. Sophomore Brian Valigosky gave up a solo shot to lead off the inning, but struck out Griffin Merritt, the AAC home run leader, to keep the Wave in front.

Valigosky pitched the eighth and ninth innings and only allowed one baserunner in his first save of his career. Valigosky matched his career high in innings pitched with three and set a new career high in strikeouts with four.

“I’m just glad that my coaches believed in me and gave me that opportunity to go back out for the ninth,” Valigosky said. “Losing DeVito is a huge loss and guys are going to have to step up. Every guy is ready in our bullpen.”

UP NEXT: First pitch of the finale is tomorrow, Sunday, at 1:00 p.m.

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