After winning games against Wichita State on Friday and Saturday, Tulane had no such luck in the series finale.
The Green Wave (17-24) played ugly at the plate, in the field and on the mound in a 10-3 loss on Sunday at Turchin Stadium, committing as many errors (four) as it had hits. Wichita State (22-21) scored two runs in the third inning, added three more in the sixth and put the game away on Zair Koeiman’s towering three-run homer to left centerfield off in the eighth.
Tulane took the non-conference series 2-1 but lost most of the momentum it generated earlier in the weekend.
“It’s frustrating because we played very well the first two days with a lot of energy and a lot of focus,” Tulane interim coach Jake Gautreau said. “Today it seemed like some of that energy was lacking. It would have been a big sweep moving forward.”
From the start, little went right for Tulane. Leadoff hitter Richard Carthon stole second base in the first inning but was picked off on a throw from pitcher Sam Tewes to shortstop Dayne Parker. No Green Wave runner made it past first base again until Jake Willsey doubled (and eventually scored) to start the seventh. By that point, Tulane trailed 6-0.
“I took a big lead (before the pickoff), and I guess they had a timing play,” Carthon said. “They got me.”
Carthon’s mistake — the 12th time this year a Tulane runner has been picked off — was the first of many of the Wave. Wichita State scored its first run when Koeiman scored from first on a single, getting an early start on a hit and run and heading home when Carthon struggled to pick up the ball in left field.
Willsey’s error at second base kick-started Wichita State’s three-run sixth. After first baseman Garrett Deschamp cut in front of him trying to field a grounder, Willsey threw well over pitcher Tyler Mapes’ head as he covered the bag.
A little later, Tyler Baker drove in two runs with a double off the wall in right field just over the glove of Grant Brown.
Tulane’s Tyler Mapes (4-4), who yielded 12 hits in 5.1 innings against LSU on Tuesday at Alex Box Stadium, lasted three innings on a pitch count, giving up five hits and two runs. Four relievers all permitted at least one run.
Tulane had almost no success against Tewes (7-2), who allowed three hits, walked none and struck out seven in eight innings. The loss — the Wave’s 10th in a row in the final game of a weekend series since a season-opening sweep of Arkansas-Pine Bluff — would have been even uglier without two bases-loaded walks in the ninth.
“He (Tewes) was throwing strikes, and we were taking too many,” Carthon said. “With his slider, a lot of the guys, including myself, were swinging at balls in the dirt.”