The Golden Eagles six-run comeback fell short as Tulane defeated Southern Miss in their second meeting, 10-8.
“There is no guarantee you’ll win a game, but you can guarantee yourself that you give everything to win,” said Head Coach Scott Berry. “That’s what we did offensively.”
Tulane found early success as USM’s starting pitcher J.C. Keys had early pitching problems in the first inning, after allowing the first three leadoff batters to reach base. Despite striking out the next two batters, Tulane’s Sal Gozzo capitalized on the situation by hitting a single up the middle to give the Green Wave a 2-0 lead.
The Green Wave added another run in the third inning after Keys gave up a double with two outs. Tulane followed with a single that scored a run and extended their lead 3-0.
Daniel Keating led the inning off with a walk, but was later thrown out stealing. Bjorngjeld continued to have problems while experiencing fatigue as he walked Taylor Braley on the following at bat, which was then capitalized on a home run from Matt Wallner to cut the Tulane lead to 3-2 in the fourth.
The Golden Eagles tied the game in the fifth inning as Bjorngjeld gave up three back-to-back singles on two outs that scored the tying run.
Tulane’s six-run, fifth inning rally started after Keys gave up two leadoff hits. Austin Millet walked his first two batters, which was then followed by a grand slam from Tulane’s Hunter Hope. Millet then struck out the next two, but then allowed two more hits leading to the end of his time on the mound. In total, Southern Miss’ pitching staff gave up two walks, three singles, two doubles and a grand slam that put Tulane up 10-2 in the fifth.
Brandon Issa fell into pitching problems after loading the bases by walking three Golden Eagles consecutively. Pinch hitter Tracey Hadley then drove in two runs on a single making the score 10-5.
The Golden Eagles threatened again in the seventh. After a fly out from Keating, Braley singled to left center and Wallner walked to put two Golden Eagles on base. Yet, reliever Chase Solesky struck out Slater and Bryant Bowen grounded out to end the inning.
In the eighth inning, Solesky began to also have pitching problems after walking the first two Golden Eagle batters. The Golden Eagles then scored two runs from two back-to-back doubles from Dylan Burdeaux and Keating closing Tulane’s lead to 10-8.
The Golden Eagle pitching staff continued to have problems after loading the bases from Mikell giving up a double and walk before being relieved. Stevie Powers also stepped in relief but allowed a walk. Relief pitcher Nick Sandlin then came in to close the inning with a strike out.
In the top of the ninth, Tulane’s Collette retired the first two Golden Eagle batters. Mason Irby managed to single up the middle and put the tying-run at the plate. Matthew Guidry almost pulled out the win, but flied out to the warning track to end the Golden Eagle comeback.
“Real proud of our club and the ability to fight to end and get the tying run at the end of the plate,” Berry said. “We got to move forward. We just came up a little bit short tonight. Hopefully, we’ll learn from tonight and win from it.”
The Golden Eagles will take on Old Dominion at Pete Taylor Park on April 21.