Tulane, wind conditions play tricks on Cajuns as Green Wave rallies for 5-3 win _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Tulane infielder Jake Willsey tags out UL-Lafayette's Alex Pinero at second base during Tuesday's game at Turchin Stadium.

The wind was blowing out Tuesday night at Turchin Stadium, but the ball wasn’t going anywhere.

Lex Kaplan then stepped to the plate for Tulane and hit a 380-foot home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning, changing everything.

The Green Wave, which trailed Louisiana-Lafayette at the time, rallied to win 5-3, getting some good fortune while also taking advantage of the conditions.

Tulane (8-4) improved to 7-1 at home, while Louisiana-Lafayette (8-5) dropped to 1-5 on the road.

Tulane went ahead for the final time when Cajuns left fielder Kennon Fontenot misjudged a line shot by Grant Brown in the seventh.

Fontenot moved casually for a ball that appeared to be coming right to him. It seemed like it would be the third out. Instead, it sailed two feet over his head with the wind as Grant Witherspoon scored from second with. Brown’s double came on a fastball from reliever Jevin Huval.

The wind was not done playing tricks with the Cajuns. First baseman and Alex Pinero and second baseman Stefan Trosclair let an infield popup from Jake Rogers bounce behind them to start the eighth. Tulane’s Jeremy Montalbano followed by crushing a two-run homer into the net over the wall down the left-field line.

Just like that, the Wave led 5-2.

Kaplan’s swing was totally against the run of play. For most of the first six innings, the Cajuns were the better team.

Louisiana-Lafayette starter Evan Guillory retired 12 straight from the end of the second through two outs in the sixth before walking Montalbano.

Two pitches later, he was behind.

The Cajuns scored their first run with a two-out rally started by Fontenot, who singled off Ross Massey in the fifth to stop an 0-for-17 streak for the year. Joe Robbins and Brenn Conrad followed with singles, bringing in Fontenot.

Massey prevented any further damage by getting a groundout with the bases loaded, and that proved to be pivotal.

Another key moment came in the top of the sixth. Brad Antchak appeared to beat out a throw to second from Tulane shortstop Cade Edwards after he ranged to his left to make a nice play, but Antchak was called out, ending the inning as Ishmael Edwards crossed the plate for what would have been a 2-0 lead.

Kaplan struck soon afterward.

The Cajuns tied it in the seventh when a pickoff attempt by Tulane catcher Jake Rogers eluded Witherspoon at first and rolled down the right field line, allowing Joe Robbins to score from second base.

Reliever Trevor Simms appeared to be on his way to getting out of the inning after Robbins’ leadoff single chased Massey. Second baseman Jake Willsey fielded a hard sacrifice bunt by Conrad and threw him out before Stefan Trosclair struck out.

Simms (1-0), an exception to what has been a struggling bullpen for Tulane, had not allowed a run in five appearances until Trosclair’s two-out double in the ninth. Simms struck out five in three innings and coaxed a fly ball to left to end the game.

Massey allowed eight hits in six innings after going through the Cajuns’ lineup the first time without giving up a hit.

Guillory limited Tulane to four hits in six innings, but the Cajuns’ bullpen struggled. Huval (0-1) and Eric Carter combined to give up five hits and three runs.

The teams last met in 2014, when the Cajuns won 7-4 and 16-0.