Two games into the 2020 season, The Tulane Green Wave claimed their second come from behind win in as many days, triumphing 8-4 over Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Behind early, Tulane fought back from an early hole before putting the game out of reach in the eighth inning. Home runs from Green Wave (2-0) junior David Bedgood, sophomore Logan Stevens and three RBI for redshirt senior Grant Mathews highlighted Tulane’s offense while the Tulane pitching staff held FGCU (0-2) to six hits.
“I told our guys today that if we get punched, that’s fine,” coach Travis Jewett said. “Just don’t go down. Just stay on your feet. We are going to stay out here and play hard until the umpire says we are done.”
Bedgood managed three hits while four other Tulane players each had two hits for an offense that collected 14 on the day. Both Bedgood and Stevens were reserves in the opening game, and their performances today demonstrate how deep coach Jewett’s team is.
“Everybody in the dugout is capable of performing, and it just so happened to be me today,” said Bedgood. “I was just glad to have the opportunity.”
Redshirt sophomore Jack Aldrich (1-0) made the start on the hill, battling through five innings while allowing only three runs, two earned and striking out five to earn his first Tulane win.
Tulane’s Aldrich was replaced by freshman Adam Grintz in his first Tulane appearance. Grintz got one out before junior Chris Holcomb relieved him. Holcomb threw two solid frames, eventually handing the ball to junior Justin Campbell to get out of trouble in the eighth. Sophomore Grant Segar slammed the door shut in the ninth inning after the Eagles loaded the bases.
FGCU senior Hunter McGarry (0-1) started on the mound for FGCU, hurling 4.1 innings while allowing 10 hits and four earned runs. McGarry was relieved by senior Sebastian Gruszecki who gave up a run in his inning of work. Sophomores Brandt Sundean and Levi Shuck managed the next two innings before junior Nikolas Bitner took over for the end of the eighth and ninth innings.
On offense, FGCU’s PJ Cimo reached base four times while Brian Ellis had two hits.
FGCU took the lead in the first inning when Ellis scrambled in from third on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. In the second inning, a long home run off the bat of FGCU junior Brandon Dorsey cleared the scoreboard in left, making it 2-0 after.
For the second time in two days, Tulane was quick to bounce back from an early deficit. With one out in the second inning, Bedgood launched the Green Wave’s first home run of the season off the batter’s eye in center field to bring the Wave within a run.
After two outs to begin the bottom of the third inning, redshirt senior Jonathon Artigues and sophomore Hudson Haskin ripped singles past the infield to set the table for Mathews. Mathews stroked the first pitch he saw right back up the middle to plate Artigues, leveling the score at 2-2.
Tulane found themselves behind again in the fourth inning when a throwing error Cimo to score for FGCU, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead.
Once again, Tulane would not trail for long. Junior Trevor Minder led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a frozen rope to left field, before Stevens came to the plate with one out. Stevens skied a 1-0 pitch to deep right-center field that just escaped the reach of the FGCU center fielder for a two-run home run to give Tulane a 4-3 lead.
“I’ve never seen a lineup like this in all my years of playing baseball,” Stevens said. “Guys can insert themselves at any time and any moment and have success.”
The Green Wave added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Collin Burns led off the inning with a single before redshirt senior Ty Johnson was hit by a pitch. Artigues dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk to Haskin loaded the bases for Mathews. Once again, Mathews delivered in a big spot with a towering sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field to increase Tulane’s lead to 5-3.
FGCU cut the lead to one in the eighth inning when Ellis knocked in Cimo to make the score 5-4.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Tulane blew the game open with three more runs to make the score 8-4. Three consecutive RBI singles from Haskin, Mathews and Bedgood plated Tulane a few valuable insurance runs.
Tulane goes for the sweep of the Eagles on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.