NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tulane won 5-2 against Western Kentucky University (3-6) on Saturday inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Another great performance from the bullpen and some clutch hitting lifted Tulane to its first series win of the season. Junior right-hander Donovan Benoit got the start for the Wave and went three innings. Benoit gave up two runs, one earned.
Junior Sean Bergeron started for WKU and tossed 5.1 innings and gave up four earned runs on six hits.
The Green Wave bullpen has been dominant through the first two games of the series. Relievers have allowed zero runs while striking out 15 and only giving up three hits in 10.1 innings of work.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the third, Benoit was able to hold WKU to one run with the help of a huge inning-ending double play by shortstop Collin Burns.
Trailing 2-0, Tulane got on the board in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, freshman Jacob LaPrairie singled into right, scoring two and tying the game. The single was LaPrairie’s first hit of his Tulane career.
“I loved that at-bat,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “I’m happy for Jake. He’s a good player. We think he’s earned a chance and what I need to do with him now is give him a little bit of leash. For a young kid to get up there in a big spot and get a knock, that’s a special moment.”
Senior Trent Johnson relieved Benoit in the fourth and threw three scoreless innings, striking out five. “I felt good,” Johnson said.
“My goal was to come in and throw strikes and mix well. Two in a row, that’s what we needed. The bullpen today threw really well. Whoever was up answered the bell. We have a deep bullpen and we are going to need everybody. These last two wins have been very big for us, getting us back on track.”
Third-baseman Trevor Minder led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple through the gap in right-center and scored on Frankie Niemann’s single, extending Tulane’s lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, catcher Haydan Hastings laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to score Luis Aviles from third and extend Tulane’s lead to 5-2. Freshman reliever Zach DeVito got the ball in the ninth for the second straight game and recorded his second career save.
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