Cajuns even series with Tulane after extra inning win

Tulane opens with the Cajuns this weekend.
Tulane opens with the Cajuns this weekend.
Updated: Feb. 21, 2021 at 7:27 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tulane (1-1) fell 9-8 to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (1-1) on Saturday inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium to snap the Wave’s 10-game winning streak dating back to last season. 

For the second straight game Tulane went to extra innings, but this time they weren’t able to come away with the victory. In a game that saw six lead changes and 14 pitchers between the two teams, it was the defensive errors that hurt the Wave in the end. 

“Any game that is tight like tonight, the routine plays become the difference,” head coach Travis Jewett said.

“It’s unfortunate, but you have to give Louisiana-Lafayette a lot of credit. This was round two of a three-round fight and tomorrow is a big game.”

Freshman second baseman Chase Engelhard started his Green Wave career with a bang, providing two doubles, a solo home run, and three RBIs in his first career start. 

“I felt good, but tough loss,” Engelhard said. “Definitely had a lot of nerves coming into the game today. I didn’t know I was starting until I got to the field but I was comfortable and felt good.”

Shortstop Collin Burns was on base four times and scored a run. Junior right-hander Conor Angel, who earned preseason All-Sun Belt honors, made a short start in his 2021 debut, as the Wave tagged him for three earned runs and walked three in 2.1 innings of work. 

Centerfielder Jared Hart made the play of the day in the top of the third, snagging a looping line drive into shallow left-center with an acrobatic diving grab.

Senior pitcher Trent Johnson came into the game in the fifth and provided a spark out of the bullpen. Johnson pitched three innings of one-run ball, striking out six Ragin’ Cajuns. 

With Tulane trailing 3-5 in the bottom of the fifth, the bottom of the order came alive, driving in four runs including the first career RBI from redshirt sophomore Walker Burchfield and freshman Jacob LaPrairie.  Senior flamethrower Keegan Gillies pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out four. Junior 

Donovan Benoit got the nod for the Green Wave and went 3.1 innings. Benoit struck out three and allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks. 

Tulane nearly rallied from behind in its final at-bat for the second consecutive night, as it brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the form of Trevor Minder, but the Green Wave were unable to reclaim the lead.

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