In Tulane's first game against Wright State, preseason All-American Athletic Conference outfielder Grant Witherspoon came up empty both times he batted with runners in scoring position.

A day later, cleanup hitter Trevor Jenson grounded into an inning-ending double play as the Green Wave failed to capitalizing on having the bases loaded and no outs.

No. 3 hitter Matt Rowland and No. 5 hitter Kobi Owen each struck out three times in a row during the weekend.

Yet none of those failures matters, because teammates came through up and down the lineup, helping Tulane (3-0) sweep a season-opening series for the first time in four years.

Heading into a tough weekend trip to No. 9 Ole Miss (4-0), the Wave picked up plenty of confidence from that depth of production despite a pedestrian .260 batting average.

"Our whole lineup is pretty deep," said leadoff hitter Ty Johnson, who rebounded from a 0-for-4 opener to reach base six times in 10 plate appearances over the next two days, scoring four runs. "That's our biggest strength as a team."

Every player who started made a major contribution at some point in the series. Batting second, Witherspoon reached base eight times, driving in three runs Sunday when Tulane completed the sweep.

Rowland hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the finale and followed with a two-RBI single.

Jensen doubled in two runs when Tulane trailed 5-4 in the seventh inning Saturday, then scored the tying run.

Kobi Owen scored the Wave's first run of the weekend after doubling and the winning run in the 10th inning Saturday on a double from No. 6 hitter Acy Owen.

Kody Hoese tripled to lead off the fifth inning Sunday after Wright State went ahead 4-3, sparking a quick comeback.

Jonathan Artigues drove in a run on his first at-bat of the season and scored the winning run in the seventh inning on Friday after an infield single. His Sunday replacement, Alex Galy, had a hit and a walk in two run-scoring innings.

No. 9 hitter Sal Gozzo led the team in batting for the weekend (.444), driving in key runs Friday and Sunday.

With six new starters, it was an encouraging debut for a largely unproven group.

"We have a good lineup," Witherspoon said. "One through nine I'm confident in anyone to drive them in and get on base. There are no holes or anything."

The Wave will need that balance against a formidable Ole Miss pitching staff. The Rebels' three starters allowed zero earned runs in 16 innings while striking out 25 in a one-sided sweep of Big South favorite Winthrop and will trot out the same rotation this weekend — sophomore left-hander Ryan Rolison (five innings, one hit, 12 strikeouts) on Friday and junior righties Brady Feigl and James McArthur the rest of the way.

Tulane will counter with Kaleb Roper, Ross Massey and Keagan Gillies. Massey, coming off a nightmarish sophomore season, earned a promotion ahead of Ben White after throwing three scoreless innings Saturday. It was his first victory since allowing one run in eight innings against Utah in the 2016 Oxford regional.

"He limited (Wright State) to nothing at a very important time," second-year coach Travis Jewett said. "It was a high-pressure situation, and he handled it well. I liked his composure. He was around the glove."

The rowdy environment at Swayze Field will be ratcheted up even more considering what happened the last time the teams played there. Former Tulane catcher Jake Rogers hit a dramatic two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning as the Wave rallied late to eliminate the top-seeded Rebels in a losers' bracket game.

"It's going to be a good atmosphere," said Roper, a Rummel graduate who was pitching for Arizona in 2016. "I know those fans over there still have a bitter taste in their mouth, so it will be fun. I'm looking forward to it."


Jewett said Johnson would play one game at catcher, his natural position, after starting in left field for all three games at Wright State. The most likely time is Friday, when the left-handed Acy Owen may sit against Rolison. … Tulane won two of three from Ole Miss in 2011 in its only series in Oxford in modern times. … Jewett went 3-0 in his lone trip to Oxford (2013) as a Vanderbilt assistant.

Follow Guerry Smith on Twitter, @guersmith