BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tulane started well enough Saturday against UAB, getting two solid innings from pitcher Randy LeBlanc.
Then the wheels came off.
A series of defensive collapses did in the Green Wave in a 7-2 loss at Young Memorial Field.
The nightmare started in the third inning for Tulane (21-27, 8-16 Conference USA), which had an early 1-0 lead.
With runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the third, one error allowed the Blazers to tie the contest before the floodgates opened.
UAB (33-16, 18-8) scored three more unearned runs go ahead 4-1.
The Green Wave scored in the top of the first when Richard Carthon led off by reaching on a hit-by-pitch. He advanced to second on a passed ball, went to third on a single by freshman Jake Willsey, then came home on an infield chopper by freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais.
However, Tulane’s offense was kept in check through the remainder of the game, as UAB starting pitcher Alex Luna allowed just three hits over seven innings.
The Blazers, leading 4-1 in the fifth, added two more runs on four hits — but they also benefitted from poor fielding and a wild pitch by LeBlanc.
Sophomore reliever Emerson Gibbs pitched the seventh inning, and Tulane committed two more errors behind him. Gibbs allowed one run on three hits and was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam at the end of the seventh, getting UAB’s Tyler Mims to ground into a double play.
In the top of the ninth, with UAB relief pitcher Turner Lee on the mound, the Tulane bats showed some life. Senior outfielder Andrew Garner singled up the middle, allowing pinch runner Bowen Woodson to reach third, and freshman Grant Brown brought Woodson home on a single that just got past Nathan Vincent at third base.
But it wasn’t enough.
LeBlanc (4-5) took the loss after allowing 10 hits in six innings. Deschamp was the only Green Wave hitter with two hits on the day.
The teams finish their weekend series at 1 p.m. Sunday.