Freshman pitcher Krishna Raj said he chose Tulane over George Washington when he decided where to play college baseball.
It turned out to be one huge recruiting victory for the Green Wave.
Raj threw six shutout innings in relief against the Colonials in his first career appearance as Tulane rallied to win 7-6 in 13 innings on Saturday night at Turchin Stadium, finishing it in dramatic fashion for the second straight game.
The Wave improved to 2-0 with back-to-back walk-off victories that involved miscues by George Washington infielders.
Tulane won on a sacrifice fly by Grant Mathews that was set up by two bizarre gaffes on the same play by George Washington. After David Bedgood singled, first baseman Derek Ripp dropped a routine pop-up from Kody Hoese but still had plenty of time to force out Bedgood. Incredibly, shortstop Nate Fassnacht dropped his easy throw as Bedgood slid into second base, allowing everyone to be safe.
“That’s got to be a first for me,” Bedgood said. “Baseball’s a crazy sport.”
Trevor Jensen was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, before Bedgood scored on Mathews’ shallow fly when the throw from left field was well up the line.
The Wave never would have been in that position without Raj’s masterful performance.
Entering to start the eighth inning with a 6-4 deficit, he pitched the rest of the way, allowing only one hit, striking out six, throwing strikes on 50 of his 79 pitches and showing plenty of emotion while doing it.
“I expected to pitch in this game, but I didn’t know when,” he said. “I just kept going out and coming in. I was pretty hyped up and excited to pitch.”
His teammates were pumped up every time he walked to the dugout, and fans behind him started chanting his name.
“He looked like a senior out there on the mound,” Bedgood said. “It was awesome to get that kind of contribution from a freshman pitcher. I can’t say enough about what he did tonight.”
Tulane, which never led until Bedgood crossed the plate, sent it into extra innings on Trevor Jensen’s one-out single in the ninth, allowing freshman pinch runner Hudson Haskin to score from second base during that frame for the second consecutive night. Haskin was there because Luke Glancy, pinch hitting for Sal Gozzo, led off with a double off the wall near the right field line.
“Glancy hitting the double kept me going,” Raj said. “That’s the only reason I’m even here right now.”
Kobi Owen's towering home run to left field in the bottom of the eighth—the Wave’s third of the game—cut the deficit to one. Hoese had the other homer, a two-run shot in the first inning that propelled him to a 3-for-5 day with two walks.
Leading 4-2 in the fifth inning after chasing starter Keagan Gillies, George Washington did not see Tulane’s initial rally coming. Literally.
Right fielder Dom D’Alessandro lost Bedgood’s lazy pop-up in the twilight after running forward, looking for help, but center fielder Cade Fergus had no idea where it was going, either. The ball landed about 30 feet behind D’Allesandro, allowing Bedgood to round the bases behind teammate Aaron McKeithan for an inside-the-park home run.
It ended up not even being the strangest play in Tulane's first 13-inning game in three years.
"It doesn't matter how we find a way to win," coach Travis Jewett said. "The kids are hanging in there. I think it's our time."