NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Luis Aviles’ walk-off single and Braden Olthoff’s solid outing led the Tulane University baseball team (1-0) to a 3-2 victory over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) in Friday’s opening day matchup inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
With the Ragin’ Cajuns leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th, the Green Wave took three walks to load the bases. With two outs, DH Luis Aviles ripped a 1-1 pitch into left that scored junior Jared Hart scored from third and sophomore Ethan Groff came in from second to score the winning run.
“Stepping into the box for the last AB, I felt very comfortable. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been in that situation and it won’t be the last,” Aviles said of his game winning at-bat, “I got lucky enough to put it in play in the right spot and that’s a Green Wave win right there.”
Senior Braden Olthoff (0-0) started on the mound for Tulane and threw 5.1 innings of no-run ball, striking out seven and walking one. Olthoff got out of two bases loaded jams, one in the top of the third and one in the top of the fifth.
When asked about Olthoff’s outing, Aviles said, “I’ve never seen anyone like that, his work ethic and focus on every pitch is incredible.”
Freshman right hander Hayden Durke (0-0) started for the Ragin’ Cajuns and threw five scoreless innings, striking out five and walking two. He also held Tulane to one hit in his no-decision effort.
The Ragin’ Cajuns broke the 0-0 deadlock in the top of the seventh with a solo home run from Connor Kimple, but the Wave responded immediately.
Trevor Minder lead off the bottom of the seventh with a loud double down the left field line for his second hit of the day. With two outs and the bases loaded, second baseman Simon Baumgardt took a four pitch walk, plating Minder.
Senior pitcher Clifton Slagel came into the game in the sixth in relief of Olthoff and threw four innings, allowing two runs and striking out four.
“The end result tonight was what we were looking for,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “We pitched the ball particularly well, containing the other team so we could stay close and then we were opportunistic in the end. Luis was able to do that tonight picking up the big hit.”
On a day where Tulane was only able to score one run through nine innings, they were able to score two on the last swing of the day, capping off a great comeback victory for Jewett’s 100th career win as the skipper of the Green Wave.
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