Tulane and UC Riverside did not switch dugouts after the first game of their doubleheader on Saturday.
It only seemed like they did.
In a complete clunker, the Green Wave made as many errors (three) and it had hits into the seventh inning and lost 10-1 after winner the opener by the exact same score on Saturday at Turchin Stadium.
The low point came when reliever Justin Campbell bounced a pitch about 10 feet in front of the plate, with catcher Acy Owen retrieving it and short-hopping a pickoff attempt that skipped past third baseman Kody Hoese into left field, allowing the 10th run to score in the seventh inning.
There were no high points. The Wave (12-7) did not have its bats, gloves or heads in the game.
“I’m a little at a loss for words, to be honest with you,” coach Travis Jewett said. “I couldn’t have told you that that was going to be the outcome.”
The anemic Highlanders (7-12), batting .231 entering the series, had a season-high 15 hits, three more than their previous high, mostly on line-drive singles. Cleanup hitter Connor Cannon added a three-run homer just inside the foul pole down in left field off reliever Trent Johnson — only UC Riverside’s 10th long ball of the season — to provide a 5-0 cushion in the fifth that Tulane never came close to denting.
“That’s a tough loss,” third baseman Kody Hoese said. “We came out hitting well the first game and looked real energized. The second game, we got that 45-minute break and we came out flat. Our offense just didn’t do anything. It’s very surprising.”
Pitcher Keagan Gillies (0-1) struggled in what might have been his last chance to keep his Saturday starting role, allowing five hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings while his ERA actually dropped to 9.78.
Johnson let it get out of hand, grooving a pitch with two outs and two strikes to Cannon.
“We had a 1-2 count and were trying to push that thing down and into the dirt in the batter’s box, and the ball’s got height and it’s (over the) middle of the plate,” Jewett said. “The next thing you know it’s 5-0.”
Tulane responded with a series of lazy flies. The Wave had 16 fly-ball outs, most of which Jewett said the Highlanders could have caught behind their back.
“You’ve got to change your approach,” Hoese said. “If it’s not working, you can’t keep doing what we were doing. We tried to get on top of the ball, but it was too late.”
Tulane was hot early in the opener, which started at 11 a.m. after Friday’s game was postponed due to rain. Trevor Jensen blasted two home runs, Hoese hit his ninth of the year along with two doubles and freshman Hudson Haskin added a fourth homer, all by the sixth inning.
Kaleb Roper (2-2) allowed a run in the second but was sharp the rest of the way, going 6 2/3 innings after a rough outing during last weekend’s sweep by UC Santa Barbara.
“He was throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate, and he had a really good changeup today, too,” Jewett said. “That was probably his best outing. He was on it.”
The disappointing result in the second game lent heft to Sunday’s finale.
“We have to take this series,” Hoese said. “We have to come out tomorrow and win, and I think we will. We have to be more energized and more into it and we’ll be good.”