Baseball Takes Two of Three from Pepperdine, Downs UNO

March 13, 2004

Stephen Richer, <i>Hullabaloo</i> staff writer

Green Wave baseball won two close games while facing off against the Pepperdine Waves in a three-game series at Turchin Stadium last weekend. Pepperdine, a traditional baseball powerhouse, came to Tulane with a deceptively weak record of 4-8. The Green Wave opened up the series Friday night, losing the first game to the Waves while amassing both hits and errors in large quantities.

Pepperdine got off to an early 6-0 lead, after only three and a half innings of play, then Tulane's bats began cracking and runs poured in. Junior Wes Swackhamer spearheaded the Green Wave's efforts, hitting a homerun in the bottom of the fourth. Later in the same inning, Matt Barket singled, and Brian Bormaster launched the ball over the left field wall to put the Green Wave within striking distance.

By the bottom of the fifth inning, Tulane had clawed its way back and was only down 7-6. In the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Manzella hit a two-run homer to left field to put the Green Wave on top for the first time. But the lead did not last very long. A pair of errors and a homerun for Pepperdine put the Green Wave behind 11-8.

Despite homeruns from Barket and Bormaster late in the game, Pepperdine was able to hold off the Wave's last efforts for a 12-11 victory. After Friday's heartbreaking loss, the Green Wave jumped on top with a two-run lead after three innings on Saturday. Pepperdine answered with three runs, but thanks to Mark Hamilton's two-run shot the Green Wave was able to establish a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh.

Pepperdine bounced right back, scoring six runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead. Tulane came back in the bottom of the seventh, plating three runs off RBI hits from Barket and junior catcher Greg Dini. With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, Bormaster singled to left to drive in the go-ahead run.

Senior Joey Charron closed the deal for the Wave, tossing a pair of scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings, making the final score 10-9 for Tulane. The two teams faced off Sunday before a crowded stadium in the rubber match, with Tulane's impenetrable defense returning to its typical form. Senior Cory Hahn pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits.

Matt Goebel pitched a scoreless eighth, and in the ninth, Charron finished off Pepperdine to earn his second save of the season. On the offensive side, Tulane continued to find all the holes in the field. With the game score at 2-2 in the seventh inning, Bormaster hit a sacrifice fly to left to put the Wave in the lead. Joe Holland sent Nathan Southard home with another sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth to seal the deal.

The Green Wave won 4-2 and took the series. Tulane took on cross-town foe UNO Tuesday night in the second game of the Popeye's Cup. The Cup is given to the yearly winner of the UNO/Tulane three-game series. In their first meeting, UNO was able to get the better of the Green Wave by a score of 4-1 due to the excellent performance of UNO ace pitcher J.P. Martinez.

In the second meeting, Tulane's Bogusevic, who had pitched the last game, once again faced Martinez. Tulane came out in the first inning with hits by Bormaster and Holland. The Green Wave tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning thanks to hits from Bogusevic, Swackhamer and Southard, making it 5-0. After seven shut-out innings, Bogusevic was relieved by Daniel Latham. Latham finished the game with three strikeouts and gave up only one hit.

The win ties the Popeye's Cup series, which will now be decided by a third game to be played at Zephyr Field April 13. UNO fell to 8-9 while the Wave's record improved to 11-3 on the year. The Wave now heads to Tempe, Ariz., to play top-10 ranked Arizona State this weekend.

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