Tulane salvages weekend series finale over Cal State Fullerton
NEW ORLEANS – Tulane baseball used a six-run fourth inning, Grant Mathews’ three RBI day and Keagan Gillies’ 7.0-inning start to send away Cal State Fullerton, 9-3, Sunday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Mathews, a sophomore from New Orleans, belted a two-run double to right center as part of the six-run fourth, then added an RBI single in the seventh to post career highs in the hits and RBI categories. Sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, and sophomore shortstop Sal Gozzo hit his first career home run to pace the Green Wave (6-5).
Gillies (1-1), also a sophomore from New Orleans, allowed one run on four hits and struck out five in a career-long seven innings to earn his first career victory. He retired the final 12 batters he faced after allowing a solo home run by Titans catcher Daniel Cope to start the fourth inning.
“Everyone understood the importance of this game, and we came out and played well,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “Keagan got out there and gave us the start we needed with seven innings, and it gave us a chance to kind of figure their guy out a little bit early. He kept us right there, it gave us a chance to jump ahead.”
Tulane strung together five straight hits and batted around in the fourth inning, sending 10 hitters to the plate. Junior first baseman Trevor Jensen reached second on an error to start it, and Hoese singled setting up Mathews’ two-run double that gave the Green Wave a 2-1 lead. Mathews then scored on a two-strike single up the middle by senior left fielder Matt Rowland, who finished the game with two hits.
Freshman designated player David Bedgood recorded his third RBI in two games, driving a single to left center to score Rowland. Junior center fielder Grant Witherspoon then drove a fly ball that was misplayed by the left fielder to plate two more runs and make the score 6-1.
Gozzo led off the sixth with his first career home run, launching a 1-0 pitch to left field to extend the lead to 7-1. The Wave added two more runs in the seventh on Mathews’ RBI single and an RBI base hit by sophomore Alex Galy, a late-game replacement at second base.
Tulane recorded 12 hits in the game, 10 of which came from Hoese, Mathews, Rowland, Bedgood and Gozzo, batting five through nine in the batting order on Sunday.
Fullerton (3-8) cut it to 9-3 in the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice by center fielder Ruban Cardenas and an RBI double by first baseman Jace Chamberlin. Titans starter Blake Workman (0-2) allowed three runs on four hits in 3.1 innings in the loss.
Freshman Justin Campbell made his collegiate debut, retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth inning, and senior Sam Bjorngjeld retired the final two batters to close out the game.
“It’s a baton pass, that’s what it was,” Jewett said of the six-run fourth. “We just tried to get to the next guy and have a good at bat, win the pitches and move it forward, so that was fun. It was good to see, and we needed some of that offense today to show up. Our dugout’s good. We haven’t been undefeated by any stretch of the imagination, but nobody’s pointing any fingers, and we’re in this together. I like the way the kids have just kind of handled it, and the body language has been good. Their effort’s been good, they’re training well, and the kids got what they deserved today.”
Tulane plays at UNO Tuesday in the first of three meetings this season, as the Pelican Cup Series returns to New Orleans. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Maestri Field. The Green Wave then play host to Southeastern Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Turchin Stadium.
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Tulane 9, Cal State Fullerton 3 (Mar 04, 2018 at New Orleans, La.)
Cal State Fullerton. 000 100 020 – 3 9 2 (3-8)
Tulane………….. 000 601 20X – 9 12 0 (6-5)
Pitchers: Cal State Fullerton – Workman, Blake; Bibee, Tanner(4); Anderson, Landon(5);
Velasquez, Gavin(7); Cha, Erik(8) and Cope, Daniel; Ciandro, Nick. Tulane – GILLIES, Keagan;
PELLERIN, Connor(8); CAMPBELL, Justin(9); PRICE, Robert(9); BJORNGJELD, Sam(9) and JOHNSON, Ty.
Win-GILLIES, Keagan(1-1) Loss-Workman, Blake(0-2) T-2:57 A-1905
HR CSF – Cope, Daniel (2).
HR TLN – GOZZO, Sal (1).
Weather: 72 Sunny, Wind E @ 8 mph
R. PRICE faced 2 batters in the 9th.
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