Tulane came into Friday’s contest against Western Kentucky determined to end a three game losing streak. They showed in the play on the diamond that when you get knocked down you get right back up and eventually took control of the game late in the 8th inning. Tulane redshirt freshman Ethan Groff hit a 418 foot bomb to left in the bottom of the 8th to give Tulane a 6-5 lead securing the win for them boosting their record to now 4-5 as Western Kentucky falls to 3-5 this season.
Redshirt junior Braden Olthoff took the mound for his 3rd start of the season a week after handling Mississippi State in Starkville. He went 4.2 innings striking out 5. After Olthoff, Tulane turned to redshirt junior Clifton Slagel to hold the game. Slagel went 2.2 innings striking out 4 and did not allow a hit over those innings. Tulane then went to redshirt junior Justin Campbell to close out the 8th inning going 2/3 of an inning and finally freshman Zach Devito to finish off the Hilltoppers in the 9th.
The scoring started in the bottom of the 1st with Tulane redshirt sophomore Jared Hart leading the Greenies off with a double and later scoring thanks to a RBI groundout by redshirt sophomore Collin Burns. The lead did not last, however, as Western Kentucky senior Kevin Lambert knocks a RBI single bringing home senior Matt Phipps tying the game at 1-1. Western Kentucky, then, takes the lead in the top of the 3rd plating two more runs by another RBI single and a sac fly. The score became 3-1 and then the game became a back and forth affair with runs being scored by both sides up to the fifth inning. Tulane got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd by a fielding error. The score now 3-2 became 5-4 by the end of the fifth with more RBI singles, a sac fly, and a groundouts. The scoring then ceased until the 7th inning where Tulane ties the game with a lead off triple by Collin Burns and then a sac fly by redshirt junior Luis Aviles the score now being 5-5. It was tied until the bottom of the 8th when leadoff batter Ethan Groff took the first pitch he saw from redshirt sophomore Mason Vinyard out to left field over the jumbotron. It was awesome seeing him run around the bases flexing the muscle as he rounded 3rd base firing up his dugout. This was all the scoring for the rest of the Friday night.
Justin Campbell earned the win moving to 1-1 on the season as Zach Devito picked up his first Tulane save. Ethan Groff’s late game heroics gave him the honor to “Slap the Wall” of the Tulane dugout.
The Green Wave are back in action Saturday, March 6, with a 2pm CT start time again against Western Kentucky.
Recap and Box Score can be found here