THIBODAUX, La. – Jarret DeHart homered in the top of the 10th inning, and Grant Witherspoon came in and struck out the side to earn his first save and lead Tulane baseball to a 3-2 (10 inn.) win at Nicholls State Wednesday evening at Ray E. Didier Field.
The Green Wave (4-12) led 2-0 entering the ninth inning before the Colonels (9-8) tied it to force extra innings. With two outs in the top of the 10th, DeHart took the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for his fourth home run of the season, giving the Wave a 3-2 lead.
Witherspoon made his first collegiate appearance on the mound, and struck out all three batters he faced. He was the ninth pitcher of the night for Tulane, which subbed in one pitcher each inning after starter Sam Bjorngjeld threw two frames. Christian Colletti earned the victory, his first at Tulane.
“A lot of new things happened today and we got a new result,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “You saw some new faces, and I think those guys infected some energy into something we needed tonight. All around we played good defense, from Kobi Owen’s diving play in the left field corner to the play that Kody Hoese made by third base in the ninth that sent us to extras. Witherspoon has a great spirit about him and he’s a competitor. He’s been our best player to this point and he proved it again tonight. I’m proud of him and I’m happy for this team.”
Nicholls State loaded the bases in the ninth with a pair of infield base hits and a bloop single that fell in right center. A walk and sacrifice fly plated two runs to tie the game, 2-2.
DeHart finished the game with two RBI to raise his team-leading tally to 17 for the season. He singled with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, plating Paul Gozzo to make the score 2-0. Gozzo led off the inning with a base hit and moved to third on a pair of fielding errors.
Witherspoon also drove in the first run of the game for Tulane. He hit a sacrifice fly to left in the third inning, scoring Sal Gozzo to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead.
Tulane’s parade of pitchers was effective for much of the game. Chris Oakley succeeded Bjorngjeld, and Brandon Issa, Keagan Gillies, Ted Andrews, Jack Hogan and Chase Solesky all followed with scoreless frames. The pitching staff held the Colonels to just six hits in the game, three of which were in the ninth.
Nicholls State, meanwhile, used six pitchers, none of whom pitched more than 2.2 innings. Adam Tarver (3-1) threw the final 2.1 frames, and took the loss.
The Green Wave totaled eight hits in the game, including two each from DeHart and Tyler Heinrichs. Heinrichs received his first start of the season in right field, and made a sliding catch in the eighth inning. Freshman Kobi Owen received his first start in left field, and had a nifty grab of his own, diving in foul territory to snag a ball in the fourth.
Kody Hoese started at third base for the first time, and made a game-saving play in the ninth. He dove to field a grounder behind the bag, and popped up to throw out the batter at first and preserve the tie.
The Green Wave plays host to Columbia for a three-game set Friday through Sunday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The game can be heard on 88.3 FM WRBH and the TuneIn Radio app, and live stats and live video can be found on www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
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Tulane 3, Nicholls State 2 (Mar 15, 2017 at Thibodaux, La.)
Tulane………….. 001 001 000 1 – 3 8 1 (4-12)
Nicholls State…… 000 000 002 0 – 2 6 2 (9-8)
Pitchers: Tulane – BJORNGJELD, Sam; OAKLEY, Chris(3); ISSA, Brandon(4); GILLIES, Keagan(5);
ANDREWS, Ted(6); HOGAN, Jack(7); SOLESKY, Chase(8); COLLETTI, Christian(9);
WITHERSPOON, Grant(10) and GOZZO, Paul. Nicholls State – Taylor, Bryan; Speer, Hunter(3);
Autin, Zach(5); Bollinger, Austin(6); Scott, Jarred(8); Tarver, Adam(8) and Tucker, Alex;
Belle Viel, Dillon.
Win-COLLETTI, Christian(1-1) Save-WITHERSPOON, Grant(1) Loss-Tarver, Adam(3-1) T-3:20 A-524
HR TLN – DeHART, Jarret (4).
Weather: 59, Clear, NNE 4 mph