Wild finish as Tulane beats LSU on walk-off

Posted at 11:01 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 00:01:13-04


NEW ORLEANS, La. – No. 18 LSU staged a dramatic three-run rally in the top of the ninth inning to erase a 7-6 Tulane lead, but the Green Wave struck for three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to post a 10-9 win over the Tigers.

Tulane improved to 17-21 on the year, while LSU dropped to 24-14.

LSU travels to Columbia, S.C., this weekend for a three-game SEC series at South Carolina. Game 1 of the series will start at 6 p.m. CT Friday in Founders Park, and it may be viewed on SEC Network + and heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.

With LSU holding a 9-7 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Tulane centerfielder Grant Witherspoon led off the inning with homer against reliever Devin Fontenot to narrow the gap to 9-8. Fontenot then walked second baseman Jonathon Artigues, and after firing a wild pitch with third baseman Kody Hoese at the plate, he was replaced on the mound by Matthew Beck.

Hoese lined a double off of Beck to score Artigues with the tying run. First baseman Trevor Jensen sacrificed Hoese to third, and LSU elected to walk the next two batters intentionally to load the bases and set up a force play. Beck, however, then walked pinch hitter Luke Glancy to bring Hoese home with the winning run.

Beck (1-1) was charged with the loss, and Tulane reliever Trent Johnson (2-2) was credited with the win after recording the final out in the LSU ninth inning.

“It’s a shame we didn’t hold on in the ninth, because we made a tremendous comeback,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had a lot of clutch hits to get back into the game and finally take the lead, and we had some effective relief pitching that kept us within striking distance after we fell behind early. It’s disappointing, but our players are going to continue to compete as hard as they can, and we’re going to move forward and focus on a big SEC series this weekend at South Carolina.”

The Tigers entered the ninth facing a 7-6 deficit, but a two-out RBI double by centerfielder Zach Watson tied the game, and leftfielder Daniel Cabrera’s run-scoring single gave LSU the lead. An RBI single by catcher Nick Coomes – his fourth hit of the night – increased LSU’s advantage to 9-7.

LSU grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of two Tulane errors in the frame. Shortstop Hal Hughes walked, moved to second on an errant pick-off throw by pitcher Will McAffer, and scored when Artigues misplayed LSU second baseman Brandt Broussard’s ground ball.

Broussard later scored on rightfielder Antoine Duplantis’ double, and Duplantis scored on an RBI single by first baseman Austin Bain.

Tulane, however, erupted for five runs on six hits against Labas in the bottom of the third inning to take a 5-3 lead. The biggest blow in the inning was a three-run homer by Artigues, his second dinger of the season.

The Green Wave added two runs in the fourth against reliever Trent Vietmeier as Artigues ripped a run-scoring double and Jensen contributed a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers reduced the deficit to 7-4 in the seventh when Duplantis lined an RBI  single,  and the Tigers closed the gap to one run in the eighth when third baseman Jake Slaughter delivered an RBI triple and later scored from third on a wild pitch.