Tulane Baseball starts 2021 with 3-5 record

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

Tulane Baseball has begun their 2021 campaign and stands with a 3-5 record through their first eight games.

Tulane began their season on Greer Field at Turchin Stadium against in-state foe University of Louisiana at Lafayette in a three-game series. On opening day, the Ragin’ Cajuns held a 2-1 lead in the bottom on the tenth inning until Tulane’s Luis Aviles hit an RBI into left field, allowing Jared Hart to score from third and Ethan Groff to score the winning run for the Green Wave, ending the game with a 3-2 final score. Braden Olthoff threw for 5.1 innings, allowing no runs while striking out seven batters and walking one.

Redshirt junior pitcher Braden Olthoff posted a 0.32 ERA in 2020. (Parker Waters)

The opening day victory against the Ragin’ Cajuns was head coach Travis Jewett’s 100th career win with Tulane.

Tulane fell in the second game against the Ragin’ Cajuns 9-8 in another match-up that went into extra innings. Freshman Chase Engelhard, the Green Wave’s second baseman, had a spectacular ballgame, with two doubles, a solo home run and three RBIs in his first college start. After trailing 3-5 in the bottom of the fifth, the last of the Green Wave batting order started to roll, driving in four runs in the inning. It was not enough to save Tulane as the Ragin’ Cajuns scored four combined runs in the seventh, ninth and 10th innings.

In their third weekend matchup, Tulane was unable to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns, dropping the game in 12 innings 9-7, scoring just seven runs on 20 hits and leaving 14 runners on base.

The Green Wave rallied back with a 7-1 win at home against the University of New Orleans in their first weekday game of the season. Tyler Hoffman started for the Green Wave, shutting the Privateers out in four innings, striking out seven and only allowing two hits. The Green Wave took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a triple from shortstop Collin Burns. Tulane scored five more runs in the seventh inning, with RBIs from Hart, Burns, Aviles and Simon Baumgardt. 

Tulane baseball traveled to Starkville, Mississippi, to face the Mississippi State University Bulldogs in their second three-game series of the season last weekend. Olthoff put the team on his back in the first game of the series, pitching eight innings, striking out six batters and only allowing six hits and two earned runs as the Green Wave took down the fifth-ranked Bulldogs. 

Tulane dropped the second of three games against Mississippi State in a match that Tulane led 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. After Tulane dominated the game offensively, including three hits from Hart and two more from Aviles, in the bottom of the ninth, Mississippi State’s Logan Tanner batted two runs in and his teammate, Luke Hancock, hit a grand slam to win the game 9-5 moments later.

Jared Hart dives for the baseball. (Parker Waters)

Tulane suffered another disappointing loss to the Bulldogs in the final game of the series. After entering the ninth with a 5-3 lead, Mississippi State’s Tanner Allen batted in two runners to win the game for the Bulldogs. Tulane finished the game with 10 hits including one home run from Engelhard.

Green Wave baseball traveled to Hammond, Louisiana, to face the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions. Tulane struggled offensively with only four hits and one run in the ballgame, falling to Southeastern 6-1.

Up next, Tulane Baseball will stay in New Orleans to face Western Kentucky University in a three-game series from March 5-7 and will then face Southern University on March 9.

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