Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader, Falls to UNO

February 22, 2004

Geoffrey Shannon, <i>Hullabaloo</i> sports editor

After a rain soaked weekend which saw the cancellation of Friday and Saturday games, Green Wave baseball finally hit the field against University of Texas-Arlington Sunday afternoon in a doubleheader. Tulane swept the Mavericks, using a potent offense to pound 21 hits and eight extra bases while scoring 16 runs. UT-Arlington kicked off the offense in the first game, scoring two runs in the first two innings.

The Wave answered with four runs in both the third and fourth innings to take the score to 8-2, then finished with two more in the sixth to walk away with a 10-3 victory. Freshman designated hitter Mark Hamilton led the Wave offense with three hits and five RBI, followed by sophomore right fielder Brian Bogusevic with two hits and three RBI.

Junior first baseman Wes Swackhamer and junior third baseman Joe Holland also contributed runs. Junior Billy Mohl pitched five innings, letting up seven hits but only two runs and earned his first victory of the season. Sophomore Matt Goebel and freshman Chris Worster also helped close out the game. The Wave continued the momentum in the second game, recording another six runs while shutting the Mavericks down to just one RBI on six hits to take the game 6-1.

Swackhamer opened up the scoring for the Wave in game two, with a first inning RBI-single into right field after a lead of walk by freshman second baseman Corey Stinger and a single by Holland. The Wave recorded two more runs in the first off singles by Matt Barket and Bogusevic to finish out the inning with a 3-0 lead. UT-Arlington answered with a run in the second inning off an RBI single from second baseman Casey Avants.

Wave pitching controlled the Mavericks for the rest of the game, with starting pitcher J.R. Crowel and relievers Daniel Latham and Joey Charron combining for seven shut out innings. Tulane padded its lead in the seventh when Hamilton hit his third double of the day and recorded another RBI, bring the score to 4-1. Barket and Bogusevic once again brought in two runs off a single and a run-scoring ground out, respectively.

Crowel recorded his first victory of the season, giving up one run and four hits. Charron, the veteran closer of the team, shut out the side in the ninth after letting up a lead-off single.

"I think Arlington has a very good club, but neither one of us was really able to get on the field much during the past week," Head Coach Rick Jones said. "We thought there would be a few rough spots, but I thought all-in-all we played very well for the first day. The wind was blowing in and it held the ball up today, but the pitchers did a good job of throwing strikes and letting the defense work for them. But that's what happens sometimes. The field itself was so soft, and you had to worry about your footing out there. Those are the kind of things you have to adjust to, and we were able to do that today."

The Wave was unable to carry its success into a Tuesday match-up with cross-town rival UNO, dropping the first game of the 2004 Popeye's Cup to the Privateers 4-1. UNO pitching was the key to the game. Starter J.P. Martinez, a transfer from LSU, let up just four hits and one run over six innings while relievers Matt Crockett and Ryan Birely combined for just one hit in the final three innings.

Bogusevic started the game on the mound for the Wave and matched Martinez in the early part of the game, retiring the first nine batters before letting up a double in the fourth to centerfielder Joe Pietro. The Privateers scored first after a routine ground out went awry when Phillip Stringer overthrew the first baseman, allowing Pietro to score from second. Tulane tied the score 1-1 in the fourth when catcher Brian Bormaster was brought in on an error by Martinez during a pick off play.

The momentum was short lived for the Wave as the Privateers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth off an RBI single by junior infielder Nate Murray. Sophomore reliever Brian Gomes entered the game for the Wave in the bottom of the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings before letting up a single, which brought Charron in to the game. The veteran reliever proceeded to let up a two-run homerun to junior outfielder Dana Tosoni, recording the last runs of the game.

"I don't think there's any question that [Martinez] is one of the better pitchers in the country," Jones said. "UNO is a much-improved club. They pitched and they got the big hit there in the eighth. They played better than us tonight, and you've got to tip your hat to them." The Wave returns to Turchin Stadium Friday, February 20 to begin a three-game series against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000