Tulane baseball loses fifth straight versus LSU

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

After stealing two to win the season series against the ninth-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs, Tulane baseball has dropped five consecutive games, and the team currently stands with a 10-7 record. 

Tulane struggled in games against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, the Evansville Purple Aces and the LSU Tigers. 

The Green Wave’s recent struggles began on March 9 against Southern Miss in a game that Tulane entered ranked No. 18 nationally. The Golden Eagles had the game’s momentum on their side early on, scoring 3 runs in the second inning. 

Tulane capitalized on a Southern Miss error by scoring a run in the fourth but gave up two more runs in the fifth inning. Southern Miss tacked on two more runs with an RBI and home run in the sixth and seventh innings and Tulane only scored once more in the game, falling 7-2 on the road. 

The Green Wave returned home to face the Evansville Purple Aces in a weekend series following their loss in Mississippi. Evansville scored all five of their runs and held the Wave scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Tulane converted runs on two walks and a wild pitch with the bases loaded. 

Tulane was unable to keep their late momentum going, and ultimately fell 5-3 in the series’ first game. 

The Purple Aces stole the second leg of Saturday’s doubleheader action, as Evansville took down the Green Wave 5-1. The Purple Aces held a 3-0 lead heading into the stretch before Tulane’s Ethan Groff sent Seth Beckstead home with a sacrifice RBI in what would turn out to be the Green Wave’s lone run of the matchup. 

Evansville successfully rounded the bases 15 times to sweep the series on Sunday, beating Tulane 15-5. Tulane starting pitcher Michael Massey pitched the game’s first 2.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with three strikeouts. 

Head Coach Travis Jewett pulled Massey from the game down 4-1 and proceeded to use seven bullpen pitchers to finish out the game. None of them were able to find their groove as Tulane’s pitching staff gave up a total of 15 hits on the day. 

Following their tough weekend, Tulane traveled to Baton Rouge to face the fourth-ranked LSU Tigers in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field on March 15. The contest was the first between the two longtime rivals since 2018, a game that the Green Wave won 10-9 in New Orleans. 

It was the Tigers that won this time, outscoring Tulane 7-5 in an action-packed game. Tulane took an early 2-0 lead in the second thanks to RBIs from Gavin Schulz and Jared Hart that forced LSU to take out their starting pitcher Will Hellmers.

LSU struck back to tie the game in the bottom of the third after an error by Brady Marget gave LSU’s Gavin Dugas an unearned run, and a Dylan Crews sacrifice RBI sent Hayden Travinski home. 

Eric Reyzelman entered to pitch for LSU in the top of the fourth, a crucial turning point for the Tigers as he threw 33 pitches over 2.1 innings with no hits and six strikeouts. 

LSU held a 6-2 lead when Tulane scored again in the seventh inning. The Tigers committed an error on a ball that Brady Hebert sent into deep centerfield allowing two runners to score.

Tulane cut LSU’s lead to one at 6-5 an inning later after a wild pitch allowed Luis Aviles to score. The Tigers stole Tulane’s momentum to end that inning when Giovanni DiGiacomo caught Simon Baumgardt’s ball and subsequently threw Schulz out on his way home for an LSU double play. The Green Wave was unable to put points on the board in the top of the ninth, and LSU walked away with the 7-5 win. 

“The fans got their money’s worth tonight. That was not a surprise, Tulane is a very well-coached team that presents some different problems for the teams they face. Tulane has always been a real challenge on LSU’s schedule over the years,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “They should be proud of their team and how they responded and fought. And I think they’re going to be just fine moving forward.”

Tulane will return home to face in-state opponent Nicholls State University on March 16, followed by a weekend series against Villanova University from March 18-20 and the team’s second meeting of the year with Southeastern Louisiana University on March 22. Tulane had a commanding 23-1 rout against Southeastern on March 1. 

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