Tulane baseball starts .500 in conference play

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

Tulane baseball
Courtesy of Parker Waters

Tulane baseball started American Athletic Conference play 3-3 after the two series. Despite a poor start to the year, the Green Wave is still competitive in the AAC, just one game behind leaders East Carolina University. Tulane head coach Jay Uhlman is hoping to salvage this season with a strong showing in conference play and in the conference tournament.

After defeat in Honolulu against University of Hawai’i, Tulane was hammered in their midweek game against the University of New Orleans Privateers in the second leg of the Pelican Cup. The Wave led 4-3 through four innings but let in three runs in the top of the fifth. It all fell apart in the final three frames as Tulane gave up ten runs total to lose 16-4. The Wave used nine pitchers total who collectively gave up 17 hits and three home runs. 

With this victory, New Orleans took the season series and therefore the Pelican Cup away from Tulane. Uhlman declined to comment following the game.

Tulane won their first conference series of the year, taking two games out of three against the University of Memphis Tigers. In the first game, ace starter Dylan Carmouche pitched seven brilliant innings en route to a 5-2 win. Pitching after Carmouche, Michael Fowler shut down the Tigers in the eighth and Michael Lombardi earned his third save of the year in the ninth.

The second game saw another pitching gem from Tulane, this time from Chandler Welch. However, Lombardi blew his first save of the year when he gave up all 3 runs in a 3-1 loss.

The third game saw a great start from Tulane’s Ricky Castro; however, a 2-run seventh inning from Memphis left the game tied at 4. As the game went into extra innings, Jonah Wachter — the usual mid-week starter — delivered a great, three inning long relief appearance but gave up a run in the top of the eleventh. 

Down 5-4, Teo Banks came up with the heroics to give the hosts a 6-5 and overall series win. After the first two Wave batters grounded out and struck out respectively, James Agabedis was hit by a pitch. Five pitches later, Banks hit a long walk-off home run to left center field.

Following the dramatic series win, the Wave hit the road to play the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Uhlman opted for a bullpen game — using 10 pitchers total — with the aim being to preserve the arms of his best relievers. The hosts took advantage of the weaker pitchers and held a 7-1 lead heading into the ninth inning. 

In the top of the ninth, home runs from Jackson Linn and Brayden Morrow sandwiched an RBI single from Adam Ebling to tie the game at 7 in a remarkable turnaround. However, the Ragin’ Cajuns won 8-7 with a walk-off wild pitch.

Tulane traveled to Florida to take on the University of South Florida Bulls in their second AAC series of the year. The visitors won the first game 5-2, thanks to another seven inning performance from Carmouche. Offensively, Brennan Lambert had a 3-run RBI double, and Simon Baumgardt and Linn both had solo home runs.

In the second game, the Bulls stampeded to a mercy rule win 15-3. Tulane starter Welch was shelled and gave up eight runs in 1.1 innings. Relievers Grant Clevinger and Tayler Montiel both gave up 3 runs in their two innings of work, and the game was called off after seven innings.

In the third game, USF took the series with a 5-3 win. Wave starter Ricky Castro, who is normally excellent, was chased out of the game after just 4.1 innings after giving up eight hits and 3 runs. Wachter gave up another 2 runs in relief after giving up a 2-run home run. Billy Price did give Uhlman two scoreless innings on the mound, but the offense could not generate a comeback.

Tulane baseball will welcome the LSU Tigers for the first time since 2018, which was a 10-9 Green Wave win. The Bayou Bengals are the No. 1 team in the nation. The Wave will also host the Wichita State Shockers this weekend for another AAC series.

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