THIBODAUX — Behind a six-inning, seven-strikeout performance from junior right-hander Patrick Duester, Tulane posted its fourth shutout of the season Tuesday night, defeating Nicholls State 5-0 at Ray E. Didier Field.
Duester (2-0) allowed only four hits on the evening as he largely cruised through the first six innings for the Green Wave (11-2). Though he did allow three Nicholls State base runners to reach third base, Duester was able to get out of the jams.
“Three of those six innings were stressful,” Tulane coach David Pierce said. “(Duester) had to really pitch out of those innings. I was really pleased with the way he worked. He made pitches when he needed to, and the defense was good behind him.”
The Green Wave took an early lead in the top of the second as sophomore Hunter Williams launched his third home run of the season to right field to give Duester a 1-0 lead. That run ended up being all Tulane needed.
The Wave managed to score four in the eighth, benefitting from two errors by Nicholls (7-4-1).
Sophomore Stephen Alemais led the inning off with a double to left-center before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt from senior Garrett Deschamp. However, a throwing error allowed Deschamp to reach safely while giving Alemais the opportunity to scamper home for the game’s second run.
With two runners on base with two outs, sophomore Jake Willsey delivered a two-RBI single to right center to bring home Williams and sophomore Hunter Hope.
The Green Wave used junior Emerson Gibbs for the final three innings, and the Jesuit graduate did not disappoint, allowing just one hit while striking out four for the save.
Left-hander Alex Ernestine took the loss for Nicholls after allowing the second-inning home run to Williams. Ernestine (1-1) threw five innings, walking three and fanning four.
Williams’ home run in the top of the second marked the 11th homer of the season for the Green Wave, eclipsing their season total from the previous two seasons.
Duester’s seven strikeouts were a career-high. He fanned three at UNO last week and three at Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 18.
In 17.0 innings this season, Duester has not allowed a run.