Tulane baseball vs. Cal State Fullerton: the good, the bad and the ugly


Photo courtesy Dave Browning

Keegan Gillies winds up against the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Gillies pitched seven innings in Sunday’s win, compiling five strikeouts.

Tulane baseball concluded its three-game series with California State University, Fullerton, this past Sunday. Though Fullerton was ranked No. 17 in the preseason, the Green Wave came in with high hopes, as the Cal State Titans had begun the season with the worst start in school history. These hopes, while eventually coming to fruition on Sunday, were seemingly crushed in the first game of the series.

On Friday, in the first inning alone, Cal State had 11 batters at the plate and racked up five runs. Tulane starting pitcher Kaleb Roper, a redshirt junior, was replaced after only two innings, having walked four batters and hit a fifth. After Roper’s departure in the second, Tulane was already down 6-0.

The Green Wave recovered three of these runs in the seventh, only to be offset by three more Titan runs. Tulane could not recover from this early hole and ultimately lost the series opener 9-3.

The second game of the series was quite the improvement for the Green Wave after suffering a brutal rout in the opener. Cal State and Tulane traded runs early and often throughout the early innings, with the Titans leading 5-2 to begin the fifth inning. The fifth, sixth and seventh innings were scoreless for each team, with the score remaining 5-2 going into the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, the tides shifted. The Green Wave unleashed a four-run barrage beginning with senior designated hitter Matt Rowland’s double. Freshman infielder David Bedgood followed this up with a two-run single. Junior Grant Witherspoon finished off the inning for Tulane with a double of his own, scoring Bedgood and giving Tulane 6-5 lead going into the ninth.

To the Wave’s dismay, this lead would not hold. Cal State scored four runs of its own in the top of the ninth, giving the Titans the win and the series, 9-6.

Though the series was a loss, Tulane knew it must make a statement in the final game of the series Sunday. The Wave was helped by the fact that several starters for Cal State were held out of the game after incurring curfew violations on Saturday night.

The first three innings of the third match-up were scoreless for both teams. The scoreboard was lit up in the fourth, however, as Cal State earned a solo home run, and Tulane blasted the Titans for six runs. Cal State committed two errors in the inning, helping several batters score.

Tulane scored an additional three runs between the sixth and seventh innings, while Cal State added two in the eighth. The Wave was able to close this one out, taking the final game 9-3. Sophomore starter Keegan Gillies got the win for Tulane after pitching seven innings with five strikeouts and only one run scored.

Though the Wave dropped the series, the team clearly proved it could compete with a high-caliber program such as the Fullerton Titans. Tulane will look to continue the success of this final game in the coming weekend’s series against Purdue University. The series begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday night on Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

Leave a Comment