While scenes of a small celebration unfolded in the visiting dugout of Turchin Stadium on Tuesday, the scene on Tulane’s home side was decidedly different.
Heads were hung, eyes were averted, and a couple of helmets were being sorely abused. Green Wave baseball players certainly were not happy after losing 5-4 to UNO.
Tulane was out-hit, out-pitched and out-played by the struggling Privateers.
After taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a home run by first baseman Sean Potkay, the Green Wave watched in dismay as UNO rallied for five runs in the second, then held on for the win.
It was deemed “embarrassing” by Tulane head coach Rick Jones and pitcher Alex Byo. “Frustrating” was another popular word.
But Tulane doesn’t have time to dwell on those mistakes. The Green Wave opens Conference USA play with a three-game series against Memphis. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Sophomore right-hander Tony Rizzotti (3-2, 0.95 ERA) will once again be the Friday starter. He pitched eight innings and struck out four in last Friday’s 3-2 loss to Texas-San Antonio.
Senior right-hander Alex Byo will start Saturday, followed by senior left-hander David Napoli on Sunday.
Memphis will throw three junior left-handers: Sam Moll, Erik Schoenrock and Alex Gunn.
Moll (4-1), a preseason All-Conference USA Team selection, is 4-1 in five starts. He has a 2.64 ERA in 30.2 innings with 43 strikeouts, tied for eighth in the nation.
Jones said his team has to take care of business against these Tigers.
“We’ve just got to play a lot better,” Jones said. “We have to be a lot tougher. Memphis is a good club. We haven’t been a good offensive club most days if you look at our numbers. We have to pitch, and we have to play defense.”
Jones made no excuses for his team’s midweek showing against UNO. Coming off a 2-1 series win against UTSA last weekend, he expected more from his squad against the Privateers, who went into Tuesday’s game 3-18.
“(It) was one of the toughest days we’ve had to deal with,” Jones said, referring to the UNO loss. “One of the more frustrating days of my career. UNO outplayed us. This is a very tough loss for us. But this one hurts us.”
But there is still time for the Green Wave to right its ship.
“A loss hurts anytime,” Byo said. “It’s time to let this one go. It’s embarrassing. Move on, new start, fresh start this weekend.”