Tulane baseball loses to previously winless Columbia, Jewett still hopeful


Parker Waters

Freshman third baseman Kody Hoese takes a swing during the Green Wave’s weekend series against Columbia on March 20th. Tulane was 2-1 on the series.

It was bound to happen at some point, and — considering the state of Tulane baseball (7-13) — it is fitting that it happened here.

Previously 0-10 on the season, Columbia (1-11) defeated Tulane 11-5 on Saturday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. While the Green Wave won the three-game series overall, Saturday’s loss is emblematic of the struggles Tulane baseball has had thus far in the season.

” … They just came out and took advantage of all of our mistakes,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “There were a lot of freebies.”

Tulane’s starting pitching was expectedly strong, with redshirt junior pitcher J.P. France playing six innings and allowing four runs. Trouble came in later innings, with relief pitchers allowing multiple runs including a momentum-swinging pitch by redshirt sophomore Brandon Issa that hit a Columbia batter in the head as well as grand slam allowed by redshirt junior reliever Sam Bjorngjeld.

The highlight of Tulane’s weekend was a comeback-killing walk-off single by freshman Paul Gozzo in the bottom of the ninth.

“We were able to stay on our feet and respond with a couple good at-bats,” Jewett said. “The guys stayed with it, and we were able to crack it there at the end.”

Effective starting pitching was a staple throughout the series. The first game was a three-hit shutout, with senior Corey Merrill and freshman Chase Solesky on the mound. Columbia finally got a runner to second base in the ninth inning, combatting a near perfect Green Wave defense.

Interrupting a scoreless five innings, power hitters freshman Sal Gozzo and senior Hunter Williams came alive in the second half of the game, aiding in a seven-run victory.

Despite a triumphant series opener, Tulane blew a 5-5 tie in the second game, allowing six runs at the top of the ninth.

Hoese’s walk-off hit cemented a victory in the final game, and sophomore starting pitcher Ross Massey allowed one earned run on Sunday, helping secure the Green Wave’s second series win of the season.

While Tulane has struggled through the first 20 games of the season, Jewett is hopeful for the future.

“That was huge,” Jewett said after the Wave’s win on Sunday. “If that’s any kind of character trait about where we are record-wise, and maybe where we are going forward, that’s a good sign.”

Tulane baseball will open a three-game series at home against Stetson on Friday before its first game against LSU on Tuesday.

An earlier version of the article stated relief pitcher Hogan allowed a grand slam. Redshirt junior reliever Sam Bjorngjeld was pitching when the grand slam occurred. 

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