Tigers Can't Take Down Tulane at Turchin

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 9:52pm

Tulane first baseman Sam Honeck had four RBI while starter Aaron Loup threw four shutout innings as the Green Wave defeated second-ranked LSU 8-7 Wednesday night at Turchin Stadium.

The Tigers (21-7) battled throughout the game, shrinking an 8-3 deficit in the seventh to 8-7 in the ninth. LSU had runners on second and third in the ninth, but couldn’t bring them home as Tulane closer Nick Pepitone struck out shortstop DJ LeMahieu to end the game. The Green Wave improved to 17-11 with the win.

“It was a tough game and we got some clutch hits, but we just couldn’t get the last one,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “We dug ourselves a big hole early, but I thought the kids showed a lot of fortitude battling back the way they did. We got a lot of big hits late in the game, we just needed one more.”

Leading LSU offensively was third baseman Tyler Hanover, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Blake Dean also had two hits and one RBI.

The Tigers got off to a rocky start in the first inning. After starter Chris Matulis (4-1) gave up a lead-off single to shortstop Josh Prince and walked second baseman Seth Henry, first baseman Sam Honeck blasted a three-run homer to deep right field to put Tulane up 3-0.

LSU responded in the bottom of the second when Hanover delivered a two-out single to right to score Blake Dean and Ryan Schimpf and make the score 3-2..

Tulane increased their lead to 4-2 in the fifth when Henry was hit by a pitch and scored when Honeck doubled to right. The next batter, catcher Jeremy Schaffer singled to left to score Honeck and put the Green Wave up 5-2.

Later in the inning, right fielder Drew Allain singled up the middle with the bases loaded to score two runs and increase the Green Wave lead to 7-2.

The Tigers got one run back in the sixth when left fielder Jared Mitchell blasted a solo homer over the left field wall. It was Mitchell’s fifth home run of the year.

After Tulane added a run in the bottom of the frame, LSU responded in the seventh when Schimpf was hit by a pitch and later scored on a triple by Mikie Mahtook with two outs to cut the deficit to 8-4. Mahtook scored one batter later when Hanover singled up the middle to make the score 8-5.

LSU cut into the Green Wave lead again in the eighth when Sean Ochinko reached second on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Steve Moritz. Two batters later, Dean singled to right to score Ochinko and make the score 8-6.

The Tigers pulled within one later in the inning when Schimpf singled up the middle to score Dean and make the score 8-7.

In the ninth, Leon Landry singled and was followed by a Mitchell walk. Both runners advanced when Ochinko grounded out. LeMahieu worked a 2-2 count before fanning on a sharp breaking pitch from Pepitone.

LSU will resume SEC play this weekend when the Tigers travel to Athens to take on top-ranked Georgia. The series begins Friday night at 6 p.m. CT.