The Tulane Green Wave’s possibly season-saving surge hit a speed bump on Sunday versus South Florida (24-5) in a 7-5 loss, but the team took the series victory against the Bulls in their first taste of American Athletic Conference play this year.
The maturation of Chase Solesky continued in his sixth start of the season, joining the weekend rotation for the first time (in place of a struggling Ross Massey). It was also the first time Solesky started a game on a five-day turnaround and it may have been a little too much to ask of the freshman at this point. While the stat line reflected Solesky only giving up two earned runs, the right-hander was knocked around for eight hits and seven runs. Solesky’s day would end after giving up a home run to Joe Genord, the second batter he faced in the fifth inning.
It was another game where Tulane was haunted by an error that led to a huge inning by the opposition. This time the error was given up by freshman third baseman Kody Hoese and then the floodgates opened up after some bizarro defense allowed Garret Zech to score from first base…on a bunt.
The upside was Tulane (12-16) didn’t roll over after trailing 5-0. They would battle back behind the bat of their number one offensive threat, Hunter Williams (.376 batting average, 18 RBI). Honestly, where would this team be without “Big Country”?
The Green Wave got as close as 5-4, before the two-run homer ended Solesky’s night and the Green Wave hopes of a sweep.
On the lakefront, the UNO Privateers (16-13) got themselves back on track with a series win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders, which is way too long of a name for any school. UNO’s second series victory (they previously swept Abilene Christian) moves the Privateers to 6-6 in the Southland. The Privateers number one ace Shawn Semple continues to impress moving to 4-1 on the season with a 2.55 ERA.
The Privateers will need everyone to bring the “good stuff” this weekend as Lamar University comes to town looking to make amends for a series loss to Houston Baptist. It will be a great marker for the Privateers season, to see how far UNO has come and possibly can go in the Southland.
But that can wait until the weekend, because tonight is the night for a crosstown shootout between New Orleans and Tulane. As stated, both clubs are trending in different directions as UNO has only won three of their last nine and the Green Wave come in winners of seven of their last 10 games.
Tulane holds a 79-61 lead in the all-time series versus the Privateers but obviously won’t take this team for granted, having lost 10-9 in a wild one last year at Maestri Field.
The rivalry begins again tonight at Maestri Field at 6:30 P.M. Be true to your school but make sure to grab a program to see how many New Orleans and Louisiana boys are out on the field chasing their dreams tonight.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every tough decision should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Wayward Owl Brewing’s “Family Tree” Kristallweizen Ale
Playlist Recommendation: The Baseball Project – “Chin Music”
Around the Way
Spring is in full swing but that doesn’t just mean there are kids on the baseball diamond. It also means that the Kentucky Derby is right around the corner. For anyone who doesn’t follow the legendary race — what in the hell is wrong with you? Sorry, what I meant to say was that the race is always on the first Saturday in May, a mere 33 days away. The major qualifiers are starting to be checked off and the biggest race at the Fair Grounds — the 104th Louisiana Derby — was won by Girvin.
Girvin, who went off as the 6-5 favorite made pretty easy work of the field of nine. Patch would give chase in the stretch but it was never in doubt after Girvin stuck his head in front for the first time. Girvin, trained by Joe Sharp, now sits atop the leaderboard and is guaranteed a spot in the field of 20 in the 143rd rendition of the Kentucky Derby. Girvin will try to join a very short list of horses that have won both the Louisiana Derby and the Run for the Roses. The last horse to accomplish the feat was Grindstone in 1996. To find the only other horse on this list you have to go all the way back to 1924 when Black Gold became ran into the history books.
*UNO photo: unoprivateers.com / Derby photo: facebook.com/FairGroundsRaceCourseandSlots