The Bulldog bats found some MoJo at just the right time today. A Luke Hancock walk-off grand slam vaulted the Diamond Dawgs to a 9-5 win Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldog bats were quiet throughout the contest, but they came alive when it counted to even the series and give themselves the opportunity to take the rubber match tomorrow.
Bulldog starter Eric Cerantola (ND) pitched 2.1 innings before encountering trouble in the 3rd and giving way to Landon Sims who continued his dominance from his performance against Texas.
The scoring began early as the Green Wave took the lead in the top of the 1st when Ethan Groff walked and then advanced to second on a single from Luis Aviles. After a walk to Frankie Niemann, Jared Hart singled to plate Groff. The Bulldogs answered in a big way in the bottom of the 1st when Scotty Dubrule drew a walk and Tanner Allen drove a ball out of left field to give the home team a 2-1 lead. The Bulldog lead was short lived though, as Tulane struck back in the top of the second as the Green Wave got Hayden Hasting and Chase Engelhard aboard via back-to-back hit-by-pitch and a Jacob LaPrarie walk to load the bases with no outs. Trevor Minden then singled to plate 2 and put the visitors back on top 3-2. Tulane tacked on another run in the top of the 6th when Hayden Hastings drew a walk and then stole second and was scored on a double by Chase Engelhard to make it 4-2 in favor of the Green Wave. The Bulldogs got a run back in the bottom of the 6th on a Kamren James solo blast to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Tulane added to their lead in the top of the 8th when Chase Engelhard homered to left field to put the Green Wave back up by 2. The Bulldog bats finally came alive in the bottom of the 9th when Rowdey Jordan opened the frame with a single. He then advanced to third on a single from Scotty Dubrule. Tanner Allen drew a walk to load the bases, and then Logan Tanner tied the ballgame with a single to score Jordan and Dubrule. A walk to Josh Hatcher loaded the bases with no outs and set the stage for a little Dudy Noble magic from the bat of Luke Hancock. With the bases loaded and no outs, Luke Hancock deposited a fastball deeeeeep into the area beyond right field to give the Diamond Dawgs a 9-5 win. Hancock’s 3rd home run of the year was the first walkoff of his career in the M over S.
The Bulldogs got home runs from Hancock (3), as mentioned above, Kamren James (2), and Tanner Allen (1) hit his first big fly of the year. Logan Tanner provided 2 RBI’s as did Scotty Dubrule.
On the bump, Eric Cerantola went 2.1 innings, striking out 3, walking 3, and giving up 3 earned runs. Landon Sims threw 3.2 innings, striking out 10 of the 14 he faced. He gave up 1 run on 3 hits. Houston Harding pitched 2 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and striking out 2. The win goes to freshman Stone Simmons (1-0), who pitched the 9th and gave up 0 runs on 1 hit. Trent Johnson (0-1) took the loss for the Green Wave.
On the subject of his walkoff, Luke Hancock said, “I think that’s the best moment of my life, that’s something you dream of.”
The Diamond Dawgs look to carry the momentum into the rubber match tomorrow at Dudy Noble Field. Game time has been moved up to noon CT from 1 pm due to the looming threat of inclement weather.
Recap and Box Score can be found here