The crowds lined up along St. Charles Avenue as the first big weekend of parades in Uptown were met, for the most part, by beautiful weather after what was forecasted as a very wet weekend. However, the Saturday night parades were soaked in rain and, further Uptown, what could have been a picture perfect beginning to the season was not meant to be as the Ole Miss Rebels rained on the Tulane Green Wave’s baseball parade. Yet, even with the series’ loss, Tulane looks a lot tougher this year compared to the previous two seasons under Coach Travis Jewett.
It was a tense and chippy series as Tulane (6-2) was this close to sweeping the series and, at the same time, this close to getting swept. Tulane held leads late in each game. Unfortunately, Ole Miss (4-2), ranked 10th in the nation, would not roll over coming back to win the first and third games of the series.
On Friday, Tulane got a solid performance from starting pitcher Kaleb Roper who, after giving up two runs early, locked Ole Miss down, retiring 11 out of 12 batters in the middle frame and striking out eight in 6.2 innings. Roper eventually got into trouble giving up two long balls that would give Ole Miss a 5-4 lead. Roper was replaced by Justin Campbell, who was completely off his game, hitting two batters before giving up a run. Ole Miss wouldn’t look back in the 6-4 victory.
The weather would play a factor in Saturday’s shootout as the wind was blowing out and the balls were going with it. Both ball clubs would homer four times in a wild 13-12 win for the Green Wave. Kobi Owen homered twice and is off to a blistering start to the season batting .462 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs.
In a game where no lead was safe, Ole Miss battled back once again and took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. Facing what would have been a devastating loss Coach Jewett pinch-hit David Bedgood for Sal Gozzo. With Kobi Owen already on first base, Bedgood drove a ball deep into right field and Ole Miss could only watch as the ball kept going out into the parking lot and the Green Wave won the game 13-12 in walk off fashion.
In the rubber match, the Green Wave would jump out to a 3-1 lead on Bedgood’s second home run of the weekend. It was a game, and a series, that you could just see how good this Tulane team could potentially be. Unfortunately, it was also a game where you could see just how good Ole Miss currently is.
Tulane got a great start out of Chase Solesky who would throw 100 pitches over 6.1 innings, striking out four and giving up three runs. In what was a haunting and recurring scenario, Ole Miss’s offense repeatedly rallied with two outs and eventually caught and passed Tulane in a 6-3 win. Five of Ole Miss’ six runs were scored with two outs.
No one should be a fan of moral victories but the Green Wave showed a lot of moxie this weekend against a Top Ten ball club. Their bats are alive and with some improvement in the pitching ranks this club could get dangerous.
Tulane is on the road tonight taking on the hot Nicholls Colonels (6-1), who have won six in a row. This weekend, the Green Wave travels to Cary, North Carolina for the 2019 Army Invitational.
UNO off to hot start
The UNO Privateers (5-1) swept the weekend in their AllState Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic. The Privateers picked up their third victory over a Big Ten school this year by beating Rutgers 7-2 on Saturday. It was another rock solid performance by Chris Turpin, who struck out four over six innings, giving up two unearned runs. He handed the ball to John Barr, who would go the rest of the way for the save.
There wasn’t a lot of offense going on Sunday as the Privateers beat the Butler Bulldogs 2-1. UNO would score in the first inning and not again until Butler’s Jack Pilcher put a wild pitch into the dirt and as the ball rolled away UNO’s Evan Francioni scampered home for the victory.
The weekend kicked off with UNO destroying Chicago State 16-8. It was a great weekend for Luther Woullard, who went 7-for-15 with five RBIs.
The Privateers are on the road tonight facing a tough Southern Miss squad at 6:30 p.m. and will host the Yale Bulldogs this weekend at Maestri Field.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Sierra Nevada Brewing’s “Hop Bullet” Double IPA
Playlist Recommendation: Earl King – “Street Parade”
Around the Way
At this point of the year it’s rare to be talking about LSU basketball instead of the LSU Tigers baseball team (who are undefeated). It’s heady times in Baton Rouge hoops as the Tigers are in first place in the SEC with four games to go.
The Tigers, Tennessee Volunteers and Kentucky Wildcats are all 12-2 but LSU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with both teams. LSU hosts Texas A&M tonight before heading to Alabama for a tricky matchup with the Crimson Tide.