Tulane baseball wins series over LA Tech, Mississippi State

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

After improving to 10-2 and winning last weekend’s series at home against No. 9 Mississippi State, Tulane made their first appearance in the national rankings this season at No. 18. (Parker Waters)

Since The Hullabaloo’s last update on Tulane Baseball prior to Mardi Gras, the team has seen continued success after playing nine more games and improving to 10-2 early in the season. After taking down Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State Universities on back-to-back weekends and taking care of business on weekdays against Nicholls State University, Southeastern Louisiana University and Texas Southern University, Tulane is now ranked No. 18 in the country according to D1Baseball. 

While Tulane students celebrated Mardi Gras festivities in the Crescent City, Tulane baseball traveled to Ruston, Louisiana to face a very talented Louisiana Tech Bulldogs team. The Green Wave won two out of three games in the weekend series. 

Tulane dropped its first game against Tech 6-1 on Feb. 25 with pitcher Tyler Hoffman on the mound. Hoffman pitched for five innings, allowing five hits and two runs, while the Tulane offense only converted one score off of a Jackson Linn RBI single that allowed Chase Engelhard to find home plate. 

The series’ second game was postponed due to inclement weather in North Louisiana, forcing the rest of the series to be played in two seven-inning doubleheader games. 

The Green Wave used their day off to flip the switch, beating the Bulldogs 4-1 in their first Sunday matchup. Dylan Carmouche improved to 2-0 as a pitcher this season in the win, throwing for seven innings and allowing four hits and one run on four strikeouts. Tulane did not score until they were down by one score in fifth, when Trevor Minder homered into left field, sending himself and Ethan Groff home. The Green Wave added two more runs in the seventh, when third baseman Brady Hebert singled right-side, allowing Groff and Jared Hart to score. 

Tulane finished the weekend with a decisive 13-5 win over the Bulldogs in game three, as pitcher Michael Massey collected his first win of the season after pitching 5.1 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs and forcing two strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Green Wave offense posted 13 runs on eight hits. Designated hitter Bennett Lee led with three RBIs, while Hebert and Groff tacked on two more each. 

Tulane baseball celebrated Mardi Gras on March 1 by decimating Southeastern Louisiana University in nearby Hammond, Louisiana. The Lions were no match for the bats of the Green Wave, as they fell by a final score of 23-1 with eight runs scored in both the third and fifth innings.  

On March 2, Tulane welcomed Texas Southern University, defeating the Tigers 10-2. Winning pitcher Grant Siegel pitched two innings, allowing no hits, no runs and three strikeouts while Engelhard led with RBIs on two doubles. 

For the second year in a row Tulane baseball upset Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State University, this time by winning two games to steal the weekend series. The defending national champion Bulldogs came to New Orleans ranked ninth with a 5-4 record.

A year after former Tulane pitcher Braden Olthoff threw for eight innings, striking out six batters and allowing just six hits to lead Tulane to a 7-3 win in Starkville, Mississippi, the Bulldogs put on a performance reminiscent of their championship season, walloping the Green Wave 19-2 on Friday. Hoffman took his second loss of the season in the matchup after allowing six runs and seven hits on a staggering 90 pitches in just 3.2 innings. 

Undeterred by Friday night’s blowout, the boys in Olive and Blue rallied back on Saturday, taking down the Bulldogs 11-10 in a thrilling 10-inning game. Down by 7 after the stretch, Tulane scored five runs in the seventh inning including a four RBI homer by Lee. The Green Wave held the Bulldogs scoreless in the eighth and ninth before tying the game with a two-run sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth. With one out in the bottom of the 10th, Tulane took home the victory with a walk-off Groff homer into left field. 

Tulane closed out the weekend by beating the Bulldogs 5-4 on Sunday to secure the series win. Groff, Minder and Brady Marget all had one RBI while Engelhard scored on a wild pitch and Hart scored on a balk committed by the opposing pitcher. Lane Thomas earned the win for Tulane and did not allow a hit or run after four at bats.

Tulane will travel to play the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Wednesday and host the University of Evansville for a three-game series this weekend before facing their most formidable in-state opponent of the season, LSU, in Baton Rouge. The Tigers, currently ranked No. 12, will face Bethune-Cookman University in a weekend series before welcoming the Green Wave to Alex Box Stadium at Skip Bertman Field on March 15 at 6:30 p.m.

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