NEW ORLEANS – Seniors Hunter Hope and Hunter Williams combined for four hits and five RBI with a pair of home runs to lead Tulane baseball to an 8-6 win over crosstown rival UNO Tuesday evening at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Hope hit a two-run double and a home run, while Williams went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs to lead the Green Wave (25-28) in their final home game at Tulane. Senior Jarret DeHart went 3-for-5 with a run, and classmate Jake Willsey singled, walked three times and scored a run.
Senior Christian Colletti earned his ninth save of the season. Ted Andrews (1-2) earned the win after 2.0 innings in relief. Freshman Keagan Gillies started for the Wave and allowed no hits over three innings, and finished with a career-high three strikeouts. The three-inning outing matched his longest of the season.
“We had a really good day on Sunday with a lot of emotion of Senior Day and Mother’s Day and the guys came out and played well, and we were not only able to win on that day, but tonight was the last time these guys are going to play on this field. So that makes you swallow hard,” Tulane head coach Travis Jewett said. “That’s what I’m happy about – for them to walk off this field with a couple of wins in their last couple of games. It certainly can’t hurt us going forward, in terms of our confidence.”
Tulane jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning and three runs in the third. Sophomore Grant Witherspoon was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and senior Lex Kaplan plated a run with a sacrifice fly in the second. In the third, Hope hit a laser bases-loaded two-run double to left field, and freshman Kody Hoese plated a run with a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-0.
After UNO tied the game with five runs in the fourth, Williams gave the Green Wave the lead for good with his 10th home run of the season – a shot off the batter’s eye in straightaway center field. Hope followed with a solo homer in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-5. He went opposite field down the right field line for his 11th homer of the year and the 32nd of his career.
Williams drove an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth to score Witherspoon and make the score 8-6. It was his second hit of the game, giving him 26 multiple hit games in 53 contests this season. Redshirt junior Grant Brown singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, matching Williams for the longest hitting streak of the season.
The Privateers (25-26-1) tied the game with five runs in the top of the fourth inning. Tristan Clarke hit a two-run double with the bases loaded, a run scored on a double play groundout, and Orynn Veillon hit a two-run home run to make it 5-5. UNO added a run in the seventh on an RBI single by John Cable to make the score 7-6, before Tulane picked up the insurance run in the eighth.
The Tulane defense turned a season-high four double plays in the game to raise its total to 59 on the year, which ranks second in the nation. Three double plays were on infield grounders, and the other was a less conventional 9-3 double play. Witherspoon caught a fly ball and gunned a throw to Williams at first to double off the baserunner. The right fielder had two assists in the game, as he threw a laser to Hope at third base to catch a runner trying to take an extra bag on a base hit.
Tulane concludes the regular season with a three-game American Athletic Conference series at Memphis Thursday through Saturday. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.
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Tulane 8, New Orleans 6 (May 16, 2017 at New Orleans, La.)
New Orleans……… 000 500 100 – 6 6 0 (25-26-1)
Tulane………….. 023 110 01X – 8 12 0 (25-28)
Pitchers: New Orleans – DeMayo, Christopher; Kaucic, Connor(2); Leone, Ryan(3);
Baker, Grant(3); Martinez, Rafael(5); Medine, Hunter(6); Gillis, Matt(7); Stephens, John M.(8)
and Cable, John. Tulane – GILLIES, Keagan; HOGAN, Jack(4); ANDREWS, Ted(4); PRICE, Robert(6);
OAKLEY, Chris(7); ISSA, Brandon(7); COLLETTI, Christian(9) and GOZZO, Paul.
Win-ANDREWS, Ted(1-2) Save-COLLETTI, Christian(9) Loss-Baker, Grant(0-2) T-3:06 A-2355
HR UNO – Veillon, Orynn (10).
HR TLN – WILLIAMS, Hunter (10); HOPE, Hunter (11).
Weather: 83 Sunny, Wind SE @ 9 mph
Leone, R. faced 5 batters in the 3rd.
J. HOGAN faced 5 batters in the 4th.
C. OAKLEY faced 1 batter in the 7th.