Tulane opens 2018 with 4-3 win over Wright State

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Box Score (PDF)

NEW ORLEANS – Junior catcher Acy Owen homered and freshman Connor Pellerin earned the win as Tulane baseball defeated Wright State, 4-3, in the 2018 season opener Friday evening at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

Owen hit a moonshot solo home run to right field in the fourth inning to give the Green Wave (1-0) a 3-1 lead. After the Raiders (0-1) tied it in the seventh, senior designated hitter Matt Rowland drew a bases-loaded walk to score the eventual winning run.

Pellerin (1-0), a Baton Rouge native, pitched 1.2 innings in relief, and junior Will McAffer tossed the final frame to pick up the save. WSU reliever Jeremy Randolph (0-1) took the loss in relief for the Raiders.

“We had two really good starting pitchers out there. I thought it looked like a four-or-five-weeks-into-the-season type of game,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “It was kind of tight and I thought everybody played pretty good baseball. It was a good start for us. I told the kids to enjoy tonight but get back to the ballpark tomorrow. We’ve got to be ready to reset and do it again.”

Wright State struck first with a run in the top of the second on an RBI single by shortstop Chase Sloane.

The Green Wave responded with two runs in the bottom half of the second when sophomore second baseman Jonathon Artigues and sophomore shortstop Sal Gozzo drove back-to-back RBI singles. Sophomore right fielder Kobi Owen led off the frame with a double down the right field line and Acy Owen was hit by a pitch before sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese bunted the runners to second and third setting up the RBI knocks.

In a tie game in the bottom of the eighth, Artigues hit a one-out single, Gozzo walked, and junior left fielder Ty Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases. Rowland then drew a five-pitch walk to plate Artigues and give the Wave a 4-3 lead. The Raiders tied the game in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs on a bases-loaded hit batter and a walk.

Tulane junior starter Kaleb Roper, a Kenner, La. native and Archbishop Rummel product, allowed one run on four hits with two strikeouts in 5.0 innings in his first start for the Green Wave. Senior Sam Bjorngjeld tossed a scoreless frame in relief and was followed by freshmen Brendan Cellucci and Josh Bates before Pellerin took over with one out in the seventh.

“I told the kids after the game that we took two punches in that game and we punched back,” Jewett said. “That’s a championship characteristic of a team especially early. I didn’t see any panic. I didn’t see anybody lose control of their body language or their mind. Every time they scored we seemed to bounce back on the scoreboard and get the momentum back to our dugout. That is a quality opponent, and it’s a really great win for the Wave tonight.”

The teams will be back at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium for Game 2 of the series at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Tulane 4, Wright State 3 (Feb 16, 2018 at New Orleans, La.)
Wright State…….. 010 000 200 – 3 7 1 (0-1)
Tulane………….. 020 100 10X – 4 7 0 (1-0)
Pitchers: Wright State – WEISS, Ryan; FOSTER, Jason(6); RANDOLPH, Jeremy(7) and JONES, Bentley;
GILTROW, Brandon. Tulane – ROPER, Kaleb; BJORNGJELD, Sam(6); CELLUCCI, Brendan(7);
BATES, Josh(7); PELLERIN, Connor(7); McAFFER, Will(9) and OWEN, Acy.
Win-PELLERIN, Connor(1-0) Save-McAFFER, Will(1) Loss-RANDOLPH, Jeremy(0-1) T-3:13 A-2117
CELLUCCI faced 2 batters in the 7th.

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