NEW ORLEANS – Tulane baseball dropped its American Athletic Conference series opener against Houston, 15-3, Friday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, in a game that was delayed two hours and eight minutes at the start due to rain and lightning.
The Green Wave (23-27, 10-9 American) led 3-1 after seven innings, but the Cougars (32-17, 12-7 American) scored 14 runs in the final two stanzas.
Senior Corey Merrill (6-5) turned in a tremendous performance in his final start at Turchin Stadium. He struck out a season-high 11 batters, and allowed one earned run on three walks and eight hits. Junior Grant Brown was 3-for-4 in the game with a home run, double, single and two RBI. Freshman Paul Gozzo went 2-for-3 and hit his first career home run.
The second game of the series is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be televised on CBS Sports Network, and free live audio and live stats will be available on www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Brown gave Tulane a 1-0 lead with a solo home run to left center in the second inning. It was his fifth homer of the season. Gozzo then put the Green Wave back in the lead in the fifth with his home run to left field after Houston had tied it in the fourth.
Brown doubled in his second at bat, then drove an RBI single to center field to make it 3-1 in the sixth. His base hit scored Jarret DeHart, who legged out a two-out double to left center. Houston scored in the top of the fourth to tie the game, 1-1, with a solo home run by Jake Scheiner.
An error led off the top of the eighth, and Houston scored three unearned runs to take a 4-3 lead. The Cougars then scored 11 runs in the ninth, on four hits and eight walks. Corey Julks hit a three-run home run and a grand slam in the inning.
Merrill scattered six hits and three walks through the first seven frames, inducing a 6-4-3 double play after a walk in the sixth, and then striking out the side around a single in the seventh inning. He finished one strikeout shy of his career high 12 set last season against Arizona.
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Houston 15, Tulane 3 (May 12, 2017 at New Orleans, La.)
Houston…………. 000 100 03(11) – 15 13 0 (32-17, 12-7)
Tulane………….. 010 011 000 – 3 7 1 (23-27, 10-9)
Pitchers: Houston – ULLOM, Mitch; FLETCHER, Aaron(7) and WONG, Connor. Tulane – MERRILL, Corey;
SOLESKY, Chase(8); COLLETTI, Christian(8); ISSA, Brandon(9); OAKLEY, Chris(9);
SCHNAKE, Burton(9) and GOZZO, Paul.
Win-FLETCHER, Aaron(2-0) Loss-MERRILL, Corey(6-5) T-3:10 A-2288
HR HOU – SCHEINER, Jake (14); JULKS, Corey 2 (5).
HR TLN – BROWN, Grant (5); GOZZO, Paul (1).
Weather: 69 Mstly Cloudy, Wind SW@ 3mph
SOLESKY faced 1 batter in the 8th.
C. OAKLEY faced 3 batters in the 9th.