GREENVILLE, N.C. — The Tulane baseball team held leads in the second and fifth innings Friday, but host East Carolina chipped away before scoring eight runs in the sixth and seventh to send the Green Wave to an 11-4 loss.
Tulane (19-12, 1-4 American) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second on sophomore Lex Kaplan’s fourth homer, but ECU (19-12, 3-2) matched that with solo shots in the second and fourth.
The Green Wave put three on the board in the fifth when senior Garrett Deschamp scored on an error before seniors John Gandolfo and Tyler Wilson brought home runs. But ECU added its third solo homer of the contest in the bottom half, and Tulane’s bullpen could not hold onto the lead, allowing four runs on four hits in the sixth.
The Pirates added four more in the seventh on three hits and an error.
Tulane’s Emerson Gibbs tossed 5.0 innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out three. The Jesuit product had the lead heading into the bottom of the sixth before junior Jordan Gross, sophomore Dan Rankin and sophomore Eric Steel gave up a combined four runs in the inning. Rankin (3-1) was assessed the loss after allowing two runs on two walks in 0.2 innings.
Tulane had eight hits; Kaplan was 2-for-4 with the homer and a single. Deschamp, Kaplan, junior Richard Carthon and sophomore Stephen Alemais all scored for Tulane.
ECU’s Jimmy Boyd picked up the win. Boyd (3-7) fanned nine and allowed three hits in 4.1 innings of relief.
The Green Wave will look to avoid being swept Saturday when the two teams meet in the series finale at 11 a.m. ECU will send righty David Lucroy (2-1, 1.62 ERA, 30 Ks) to the mound, while Tulane will use righty Alex Massey (1-2, 3.41 ERA, 31 Ks).
Following Saturday’s game at ECU, the Green Wave will host in-state rival Nicholls State at Turchin Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.