Tulane’s Witherspoon hits a walk-off sacrifice fly to score Kaplan

Tulane completed its sweep of Pepperdine, as freshman Grant Witherspoon lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Lex Kaplan to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory at Turchin Stadium on Sunday.

Tulane (7-4) led 3-0 most of the contest, but Pepperdine (3-8) scored single runs in the fourth and sixth before tying it in the seventh. The Green Wave had multiple chances to put the game away. Kaplan walked to lead off the ninth before stealing second and moving to third on an error, before Witherspoon’s sacrifice fly ended the game.

“Pepperdine is going to go home and win a lot of games, so this was a big RPI series for us,” Tulane baseball coach David Pierce said. “Watching our kids go out and compete and winning two big games in a row before today’s close one tells us a lot about our team’s character.”

Tulane was led at the plate by Hunter Hope (2-for-4, one run). Cade Edwards, Jake Rogers, Richard Carthon and Grant Witherspoon had RBIs.

Emerson Gibbs went 6.1 innings, striking out five and allowing six hits. Trevor Simms picked up the victory, tossing 1.0 inning. Simms (2-0) relieved Dan Rankin, who fanned two across 1.2 frames. Pepperdine’s Max Gamboa was tagged with the loss after giving up the game-winning run. Gamboa (0-2) was the third pitcher used by Pepperdine.

Tulane to face UL-Lafayette at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Green Wave will travel across town to take on New Orleans at Maestri Field at 6:30 p.m. on WEdnesday. Both games will be televised on Cox Sports Television (CST).