The first time around the order, UNO pitcher Daniel Martinez struck out five consecutive Tulane batters Tuesday night at Maestri Field. He didn’t even make it through the lineup a second time.
After manufacturing two early runs, the Green Wave jumped all over Martinez and reliever Hunter Medine in the fourth inning, batting around while scoring six runs on seven hits en route to a victory in the opening game of the First NBC Cup college baseball series.
Hunter Williams led off with a single, starting the onslaught. Lex Kaplan, Jake Rogers, Grant Brown, Stephen Alemais, John Gandolfo and Hunter Hope followed with hits as the Wave chased Martinez (0-1) and Medine.
Until Williams flied out to end the inning, the only outs the Privateers recorded came on a Garrett Deschamp sacrifice and when Gandolfo tried to stretch his single into a double.
Tulane (7-1) finished with a season-high 16 hits and five doubles, heating up a cold night. After three players had three hits or more in the first seven games, three more did it against UNO — Alemais, Gandolfo and Kaplan.
“We really pitched well, we played great defense, we were good at the top of the order and we capitalized,” Tulane coach David Pierce said. “It was a well-played game on our end.”
Patrick Duester (1-0), who has not given up a run in either of his midweek starts, allowed four hits while blanking UNO (4-4) through six innings. The only time the Privateers came close to scoring, Gandolfo nailed Jay Robinson at the plate from left field as he tried to score from second on a single in the fifth.
“I was throwing strikes,” Duester said. “Early on in the game my fast ball was working. They were swinging at a lot of pitches. They put the ball in play and I relied on my defense.”
The Wave played small ball early, a Pierce staple. Already leading the nation with 15 sacrifices through seven games, they added three more in the first four innings, and all of them led to runs.
“When you are constantly putting pressure on the defense, now pitchers have to really bear down, and we were able to hit some pitches when we had guys in scoring position,” Pierce said. “Our goal is to score in multiple ways, and the short game is a part of it.”