Picking up where it left off in an opening-weekend sweep, the Tulane baseball team routed Lamar 9-1 on Tuesday night at Turchin Stadium, improving to 4-0 for the first time in five seasons.
The turning point was really easy to spot. The Green Wave took over immediately after the Cardinals (3-1) removed left-handed starter Taylor Rich with one out in the fifth inning.
Reliever Jack Dallas failed to retire any of the four batters he faced, giving up an infield single to Kody Hoese, plunking Trevor Jensen in the back and walking Grant Mathews on four pitches to load the bases. Jonathon Artigues chased him with a single to center, giving Tulane a 2-1 lead, and Kobi Owen followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Wave blew it open with five runs in the sixth, getting back-to-back triples from Sal Gozzo (his career first) and David Bedgood (his second), a two-run single by Kobi Owen that rocketed past the second baseman and an RBI double by freshman Hudson Haskin.
Both triples required with some help from left fielder Cole Coker, who misplayed Gozzo’s long shot at the wall when he was under the ball, then overran Bedgood’s blooper down the line and did not realize it had landed fair.
"It was really good," coach Travis Jewett said. "We got some runners at third base with less than two outs, and that's kind of the whole objective in our offense. Once we did that, we got the runs we were supposed to."
Sophomore Josh Bates, whose first appearance as a freshman was a five-inning no-hitter against Lamar, may have been even sharper this time. He yielded a single up the middle to the first batter he faced and zero hits the rest of the way, lasting a career-high seven innings. He added seven strikeouts, retiring eight in a row on two separate occasions.
The run he allowed in the first was unearned.
"Even in the bullpen to start the game I was feeling all of my pitches," he said. "After the first hit, I just shook it off, got in a rhythm and started throwing up a bunch of zeroes."
The light fog around Turchin Stadium for the opening pitch did not affect visibility. It only seemed like it because of the way both teams swung early, combining for four hits in the first four innings and each scoring a run aided by wild pitches or passed balls.
Tulane struggled against Rich, who got ahead on the count consistently and kept hitters off balance but ran up his pitch count, forcing him to leave when he was still pitching well.
It was all Tulane from there. The Wave outhit the Cardinals 14-2.
Hoese raised his batting average to .500 with three singles. Haskin, who scored in the ninth inning as a pinch runner on Friday and Saturday and hit a grand slam on Sunday, continued his storybook start with two hits and two RBIs.
The two teams will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with Brendan Cellucci on the mound for Tulane, weather permitting. The forecast is for a 100-percent chance of rain.
Cellucci, who has electric stuff, has to prove he can find the plate. He never did last year, walking seven in 2 ⅔ innings.
"We're looking for strikes," Jewett said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's really what it is. And he's coming. I don't want him to make the moment too big, and I want him to go out there with some composure and some good body language and I want him to just charge the ball into the glove. His stuff is plenty good. You've got a big, physical left-hander throwing in the mid-90s."
Jewett added that Trent Johnson, who pitched 50 innings a year ago, would make his debut on Wednesday.