Tulane rally, effort to sweep series falls short with 7-6 loss at Cincinnati

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CINCINNATI – Trailing by six runs, the Tulane baseball team rallied to cut the deficit to just one, but the distance would be too much to overcome in the end as the Green Wave fell in the series finale to the Cincinnati Bearcats 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Field.

In a game that saw the Green Wave (19-9, 2-1 The American) held to just four hits, the squad benefited from 14 walks and four wild pitches by Cincinnati (10-16, 3-3) over the course of the game, with the visitors getting just enough in the end to keep Tulane from completing the comeback.

Junior Sal Gozzo had three of the team’s four hits, including a home run and driving in two in the game. Grant Mathews drove in two on his only hit of the day, with Frankie Niemann driving one in.

Brendan Cellucci pitched the final 3.2 innings and struck out eight to help keep Tulane in the game, as Chase Solesky (2-2) suffered the loss.

All but two Bearcat batters earned a hit for the opposition on the afternoon, led by Eric Santiago and Cole Murphy each having two, as AJ Bumpass drove in two on his only hit of the day.

Drake Batcho (1-3) earned the win for Cincinnati in relief, pitching three innings and allowing two runs on a hit with four walks and two strikeouts. Starter Garrett Schoenle walked seven in his three innings, allowing three runs on a hit with a wild pitch. Korren Thompson (4) picked up the save by allowing a run on a hit with four strikeouts and two walks in the final two innings of the game.

Walks to Trevor Jensen and Hudson Haskin around an out put two on in the top of the first, as a wild pitch advanced both to second and third. Niemann flew out to deep center to score Jensen and give the Green Wave an early 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, Kobi Owen drew a walk to open the inning and Aaron McKeithan followed suit to put two Tulane runners on prompting a Cincinnati pitching change. Gozzo ripped a shot down the right field line for a double and plated Owen to make it 7-2. After an out, a wild pitch allowed McKeithan to score to make it 7-3.

Kody Hoese and Haskin each drew walks to open the Tulane seventh, forcing Cincinnati to go back to the bullpen again. A wild pitch advanced the two to second and third, as after a fly out to right, Mathews singled to left center to score both and cut the Cincinnati lead to 7-5.

With a 2-1 count to open the eighth, Gozzo hit a line-drive shot over the fence for the solo home run to put the Green Wave on the doorstep down just one at 7-6.

With two outs in the ninth, Logan Stevens drew a walk and stole second base to put another Tulane runner in scoring position, but a swinging strikeout ended the game and secured the win for the Bearcats.

Tulane will close out its five-game road swing on Tuesday taking on the New Orleans Privateers at Maestri Field.

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