CINCINNATI — Tulane baseball set a single-season school record with its ninth shutout in a 4-0 victory over Cincinnati at Marge Schott Stadium on Friday night behind a strong performance from junior pitcher Corey Merrill and sophomore Hunter Williams at the plate.
Tulane (25-16, 6-7 American) belted out double-digit hits — including three from Williams — while Merrill (3-3) was on point in his 7.2 innings against Cincinnati (13-28, 4-9). Merrill fanned eight and allowed only three hits while helping lead Tulane to their third shutout in five games.
“I just really thought we played a complete game,” Tulane coach David Pierce said. “We left some base runners out there, but at the same time we had some quality at-bats. We got a great outing from Corey, and behind him there was a great all-around defensive effort. It was a good win and we have to be ready for tomorrow.”
With two outs in the top of the third and two runners on, Williams sent a shot to center field off Bearcats starter Ryan Atkinson that was credited as a single and an error. It rolled all the way to the wall to score sophomore Stephen Alemais and senior John Gandolfo, and Williams also made it all the way around to score.
Merrill came out with a three-run lead in the bottom of the third and went to work on his second consecutive win. From the third to the bottom of the seventh, Merrill only allowed four base runners.
In the bottom of the eighth, Tulane went to the bullpen for Ian Gibaut, who recorded the final out of the inning. Senior Garrett Deschamp gave Tulane an insurance run in the top of the ninth when he scored pinch runner Nico Symington on a ball toward third base.
Gibaut came out in the ninth and struck out the first batter but then allowed a single before Deschamp made an unassisted game-ending double play on a lineout off the bat of Kyle Mottice.
Gibaut picked up his fourth save in the process.
Alemais, Deschamp and sophomore Jake Willsey notched two hits apiece.
Atkinson (3-5) fanned nine but walked seven and allowed seven hits.
The Green Wave and Bearcats will return to Marge Schott Stadium at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Green Wave will use junior righty Emerson Gibbs (3-2, 2.41) on the mound, while Cincinnati will pitch righty David Orndorff (1-2, 6.21).
The series finale will be played at 11 a.m. Sunday with redshirt junior righty Alex Massey (4-2, 2.75) pitching against the Bearcats lefty Dalton Lehnen (1-6, 5.37).