Tulane baseball drops series to struggling Bearcats

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

tulane baseball
Courtesy of Parker Waters

Tulane baseball continued their rough season with a series loss to the struggling University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Following this series, the 17-24 (5-7 American Athletic Conference) Bearcats jointly hold fifth place in the AAC with 12-28 (5-7 AAC) Tulane.

Following the series loss to the Wichita State University Shockers, Tulane played the final leg of the Pelican Cup against the University of New Orleans Privateers. The Green Wave won 8-6, thanks to great performances at the plate from Jacob LaPrairie and Brennan Lambert. LaPrairie went 2-5 with three RBIs as well as scoring 2 runs himself. Both LaPrairie and Brady Marget had 2-run home runs in the first inning of the matchup.

On the mound, reliever Tayler Montiel pitched three scoreless innings without giving up a hit and walking two batters. Montiel was credited with his first victory of the year. Grant Cleavinger was also impressive with four strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings. Gavin Smith picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning.

For the weekend series, Tulane traveled to Cincinnati to take on a struggling Bearcats team. Game one began perfectly for Tulane; Lambert and Teo Banks both had 3-run home runs in the first two innings of the game to give the visitors a quick 6-0 advantage. However, the game quickly fell apart as Tulane ace Dylan Carmouche surrendered 7 runs in the bottom of the second.

First, a fielding error by Marget allowed a run to score. Two singles and a double each scored a run for the Bearcats. Finally, a 3-run home run gave Cincinnati a 7-6 lead. A solo home run in the fourth added another for the hosts, but a 2-run home run by Simon Baumgardt in the fifth tied the game at 8. However, another Bearcat home run in the fifth inning gave the hosts a 9-8 advantage. In the eighth inning, Cincinnati added three insurance runs and Tulane failed to mount a late comeback in the ninth, giving the Bearcats a 12-9 game one win.

In game two, it looked that the Bearcats would again take the win after jumping to a 3-0 lead after three innings. However, Tulane starter Ricky Castro settled in to deliver a solid 5.1-inning performance with seven strikeouts. The Wave added 2 runs in the fifth thanks to a RBI sacrifice fly out by Marget and a single from Baumgardt. Tulane opened up the scoring in the seventh with 5 runs. The Wave scored 3 more in the ninth when the Bearcats walked in a run and hit two batters with the bases loaded. The Wave won 10-3.

On the mound, Cleavinger looked sharp once again in relief of Castro with five strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched. Billy Price came in for the final two innings allowing no hits or walks while striking out two.

Game three secured the series for the Bearcats as they mercy ruled the Green Wave in seven innings. In a dominant 12-1 performance, Tulane failed to get anything going offensively or defensively. In the seven innings, Tulane used six different pitchers. The game was close through the first five frames with the Wave only trailing 3-1, but a 3-run sixth and 6-run seventh ended the game early.

Tulane has a difficult schedule for their next five games. First, the 23-15 (11-7 Conference USA) University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles are coming to Uptown New Orleans. Then, Tulane takes on East Carolina University, which is 29-10 (7-4 AAC), in a tough road weekend series. Finally, the Wave will travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to play Southern Mississippi again.

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