Tulane seals sweep of Wright State with 11-5 win Sunday

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Box Score (PDF)

NEW ORLEANS – Senior Matt Rowland homered and collected five RBI to lead Tulane baseball to an 11-5 win Sunday and a weekend series sweep of Wright State at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

Rowland hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to give the Green Wave (3-0) a 7-4 lead, then tacked on two more in the seventh with a two-run single.

For the third straight game Tulane fell behind early but bounced back with runs in the bottom half of the scoring frame to answer the Raiders (0-3). WSU scored in eight innings in the series, and in six of those frames, Tulane responded with runs in the bottom half.

Tulane swept its season-opening series for the first time since 2014 when it won all four games against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

“We were just resilient,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “I told the kids that I thought every time they scored we seemed to find a way to score. That is just taking a punch and being able to stay on your feet, staying in control of at bats and innings, and finding a way to respond. We called it pulling on the Johnny momentum tag and pulling it back over to our dugout. Our guys were able to do that, and I was really proud of them. That is a championship characteristic.”

Wright State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Wave tied it with a pair in the bottom half. Junior left fielder Ty Johnson hit the first pitch he saw into center field, stole second, and scored on a double to the right field wall by junior center fielder Grant Witherspoon. Witherspoon stole third and scored on junior first baseman Trevor Jensen’s groundout to third.

The Green Wave took a 3-2 lead in the third when sophomore shortstop Sal Gozzo singled, picked up Tulane’s third of five stolen bases on the day, and scored on Witherspoon’s groundout to second.

After Wright State plated a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to move ahead, 4-3, sophomore third baseman Kody Hoese led off the bottom half with a triple to right center and scored on Gozzo’s sacrifice fly. A single from Johnson and a walk to Witherspoon set up Rowland’s two-out, three-run bomb to left center to give the Green Wave a 7-4 lead it would not relinquish.

Rowland again came through with a two-out hit in the seventh when he knocked a two-run single up the middle to score sophomore second baseman Alex Galy and Gozzo, making the score 9-5 after WSU scored a run in the sixth. Galy started the inning with a base hit to right field – his first collegiate base hit – and Gozzo followed with a looping hit to right.

The Wave tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on Hoese’s RBI single to left. Witherspoon then was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 11-5.

Sophomore Keagan Gillies made his third career start and went 4.2 innings before giving way to redshirt sophomore Trent Johnson (1-0), who earned the win. After allowing two runs in the first inning, Gillies settled down to retire eight straight, including a double play to end the second inning and clean third and fourth frames. Senior Sam Bjorngjeld pitched two scoreless innings, getting a double play to end the sixth, and retiring the side in the seventh. Freshman Brendan Cellucci retired the only batter he faced, freshman Connor Pellerin struck out two batters to end the eighth, and junior Will McAffer closed out the game in the ninth.

The Green Wave returns to action next weekend for a three-game series at Ole Miss. Game times are 4 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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Tulane 11, Wright State 5 (Feb 18, 2018 at New Orleans, La.)

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Wright State…….. 200 021 000  –  5  7  0      (0-3)

Tulane………….. 201 040 22X  – 11 10  1      (3-0)

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Pitchers: Wright State – SAMPEN, Caleb; BELLOMY, Bear(5); RANDOLPH, Jeremy(6);

RODRIGUEZ, Chris(8); KREUZER, Daniel(8) and GILTROW, Brandon; JONES, Bentley. Tulane –

GILLIES, Keagan; JOHNSON, Trent(5); BJORNGJELD, Sam(6); CELLUCCI, Brendan(8);

PELLERIN, Connor(8); McAFFER, Will(9) and OWEN, Acy.

Win-JOHNSON, Trent(1-0)  Loss-BELLOMY, Bear(0-1)  T-3:11  A-1836

HR WRSTBB – WEATHERFORD, Zach (1).

HR TLN – ROWLAND, Matt (1).

Weather: 77 Ptly Cloudy, Wind SE @ 4mph

Tr. JOHNSON faced 2 batters in the 6th.

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