The No. 23 Tulane baseball team enjoyed a strong offensive display as starting pitcher Donovan Benoit hurled six innings while striking out nine batters to guide the Wave to a seventh consecutive victory, clinching the weekend sweep by a score of 10-2 over the Southern University Jaguars at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Sunday.
Tulane (13-2) scored in all but one of the first seven innings, including a stretch of seven unanswered runs after Southern (6-9) tied the game in the second inning. The Green Wave dominated the Jaguars all weekend, ending the series with 33 runs scored, compared to four for Southern.
“When you beat somebody twice,” said coach Travis Jewett, “there’s a chance you are lulled a little bit. I think our kids came out and prepared well this morning and they are getting what they deserve.”
Benoit (2-0) found himself in trouble early, surrendering four hits and two runs in the first two innings before settling in. The right-hander cruised through the next four innings allowing just a single hit. Justin Campbell relieved Benoit, striking out two hitters in his two flawless innings. Keagan Gillies came on for the final three outs, sending down the side in order.
Ty Johnson sparked Tulane’s offense, collecting three hits and three RBI while finishing a double short of the cycle. Luis Aviles powered two separate RBI doubles and Hudson Haskin reached base in four plate appearances to headline Tulane’s thirteen hits and 10 runs.
"Honestly, kind of like my approach at the plate, we have to just show up every day, keep that same mentality,” Johnson said. “Obviously we are getting the validation that our work is paying off, but we just have to keep putting in the work every day, stay humble, stay with each other, and good things will keep happening."
After Benoit escaped trouble in the first inning, Johnson led off with a triple to left center. Haskin drove him in on a single to center and Aviles doubled to plate Haskin for an early 2-0 lead.
Southern leveled the score after two hits in the second inning set the table for a run scoring groundout and sacrifice fly.
With the score poised at 2-2, Tulane would steadily amass a comfortable lead. Johnson singled in the third inning, Haskin walked, and Trevor Minder bunted them into scoring position. Grant Mathews put Tulane back in front, 3-2, with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Frankie Niemann and Jonathon Artigues doubled down the left field line to begin the fourth inning with another run, before Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield for a 5-2 lead.
Mathews led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single before Aviles launched a double to score him for the sixth run.
Tulane plated two more in the sixth inning, including a tape-measure home run for Johnson. Haskin and Mathews combined for another run with doubles down the left field line to push the lead to six at 8-2.
Collin Burns drove in a run with a single to left field before Johnson produced his second sacrifice fly of the day to finalize the score at 10-2.
Jahli Hendrix paced the visitors with two hits, while Garrett Felix reached base three times.
Benoit enjoyed his best start for the Wave, more than doubling his strikeout total entering the game, shooting from six to 15 on the season.
The Green Wave sent down 14 consecutive batters to end the game. The win is Tulane’s 16th consecutive victory over Southern.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.