The stellar pitching that left Tulane with the nation’s second-best earned run average after 20 games?
The Green Wave definitely did not need it Tuesday night.
Picking up where it left off against Xavier, Tulane scored seven times in the first inning and crushed Southeastern Louisiana 15-2 at Turchin Stadium. The eruption came after the Wave scored five times in the bottom of the eighth Sunday, giving it 12 runs in three innings after it managed 13 in the previous five games combined.
Tulane (16-5), which won its fourth in a row, improved to 2-0 against Southeastern (15-7) this season with one game remaining April 28.
The Wave batted around in the first, when the hits just kept coming. Stephen Alemais, Garrett Deschamp and Hunter Williams singled, and John Gandolfo followed with a line shot to right field that rolled to the wall for a triple. Jake Rogers then singled in Gandolfo before Alemais had his second hit of the inning, beating out a grounder.
The Lions could have gotten out of the inning with a 1-0 deficit, but shortstop Kennon Menard botched a tailor-made double-play grounder by throwing past second baseman Jacob Williams into the outfield. Menard made his second error trying to throw out Alemais, allowing Richard Carthon to score the seventh run from first as the ball kicked into foul territory.
Tulane tacked on two runs in the second, three in the third and three more in the sixth. The Wave’s 11 hits after three innings were more than it had in 16 of its previous 18 games.
By that point, Alemais already was 3-for-3, Hunter Hope had two doubles and four players had scored twice.
All of Tulane’s starters scored except for second baseman Jake Willsey, and coach David Pierce substituted liberally in the latter stages. Freshman Jackson Johnson had his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Junior Matt Braud reached first base for the first time in his career.
Freshman pitcher Brandon Sequeira, a Jesuit graduate, made his first career appearance in the eighth inning and had two strikeouts.
Tulane starter Patrick Duester (3-1) labored through 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits, walking two and hitting two batters but surrendering only two runs. After not allowing a run in his first three starts, he has been shakier in his last two outings.
But he did not need to be sharp Tuesday.
SLU’s Domenick Carlini, who struck out 11 in five innings the first time the two teams met, was not a viable option after giving up 10 runs in five innings since that performance. But the guy coach Matt Riser chose instead of Carlini fared even worse.
Pat Cashman (2-3), who lost in relief by giving up two runs in the ninth when Tulane beat the Lions 5-4 in Hammond on Feb. 18, allowed seven hits and eight runs in 1.1 innings this time. He was the first of seven SLU pitchers.
Carlini entered in the eighth and pitched a perfect inning, striking out the first two batters he faced.
Just about everything went right for Tulane. In the third, a ball hit Duester in the foot and ricocheted to Rogers in front of the plate, leading to a 1-2-3 groundout to end the inning. Later, Gandolfo tracked down a fly ball in center field to make a terrific catch on the warning track.
The win was Tulane’s most lopsided since a 16-3 victory at Louisiana Tech on Feb. 22, 2014. It also was the most runs the Wave has scored since that day.