Gibbs’ gem leads Wave to 4-0 win, First NBC Cup sweep Wednesday

Oliver Grigg, Print Sports Editor

Junior pitcher Emerson Gibbs tossed seven innings of shutout baseball en route to the Wave’s 4-0 win against New Orleans on a cold, damp Wednesday evening at Turchin Stadium. Tulane (8-1) dominated the First NBC Cup, after shutting out UNO 9-0 Tuesday night at New Orleans (4-5). 

Gibbs struck out seven batters and allowed just one hit and two walks, keeping UNO’s offense off balance all night. Gibbs carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He improved to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.96 following the win. 

“Gibbs pounded the strike zone with the fastball, and he hit with the curveball and the change-up when he needed it,” head coach David Pierce said. “He had exceptional command and great poise tonight.”

Gibbs said he felt comfortable despite the cold weather.

“My gameplan was to throw strike one,” Gibbs said. “Around the second and third inning I found my curveball. I was just trying to pound the zone and let my defense make plays behind me.”

Tulane got on the board first in the bottom of the second after sophomore outfielder Lex Kaplan scored on sophomore catcher Jake Rogers’ sacrifice fly to center field. Rogers extended the Wave’s lead in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI single to left field to score Kaplan. 

“I’m seeing the ball well, having good at bats and swinging at the right pitch,” Kaplan said. “I’m putting good swings [on the ball].”

The Wave tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, including sophomore outfielder Grant Brown’s single to score senior infielder Garrett Deschamp to give Tulane a 4-0 lead. Brown had one hit and one RBI in the game. 

“Kaplan was really good tonight, and we did the small things well again,” Pierce said. “We never had a big inning, but we were able to get a run here and there and just extend the lead.”

Sophomore pitcher Dan Rankin and junior pitcher Ian Gibaut relieved Gibbs and tossed the final two innings. Rankin and Gibaut had a combined two strikeouts to help Tulane complete its third shutout of the season. The Wave had just four shutouts last year.

“That was the plan tonight,” Pierce said. “Both [Rankin and Gibaut] needed to throw, and it worked out perfectly.”

Sophomore infielder Stephen Alemais and Kaplan each had two hits, while Kaplan scored three times and Rogers had three RBIs. Alemais stole two bases.  

Tulane will look to extend its six game winning streak when it begins a three-game weekend series against Creighton 6:30 p.m. Friday at Turchin Stadium.