The Tulane Green Wave (9-15) defeated the LSU Tigers (18-7) 7-6 Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field.
Tulane now holds a three-game win streak over LSU after sweeping both games in 2016 and drops LSU to 3-4 against Louisiana teams.
“Just didn’t do enough tonight, that’s all,” said a noticeably flustered Paul Mainieri after the game. “I just don’t know what to say. Obviously we had opportunities but we’re just struggling at the plate.”
“We gotta get it straightened out and get guy’s confidence back and get it straightened out for Thursday.”
Tulane opened the scoring with a solo home run from Jake Willsey in the top of the third inning to lead off the inning. Tulane added another run the following inning when a walk and a single put runners on first and third with one out for Kody Hoese. Hoese hit a grounder to shortstop, and Kramer Robertson went home with the throw to get the lead runner. The throw was both wide and slightly late, and the run scored.
LSU responded with back to back walks to Antoine Duplantis and Greg Deichmann, followed by a Josh Smith hit by pitch loaded them after a Zach Watson fly out. Jake Slaughter struck out swinging but Beau Jordan put LSU on the board with a grounder to the shortstop that he had to smother, allowing everybody to advance safely. On the next pitch, Michael Papierski hit a big fly to left field that just barely cleared the fence for a grand slam to put LSU ahead 5-2.
The Green Wave answered in the fifth when Grant Witherspoon singled to right field and Lex Kaplan hit a home run to left center that also barely snuck out of the confines of Alex Box Stadium to pull within a run.
Tulane took the lead back in the sixth with a second home run from Willsey, who followed Tyler Heinrichs two out single with a dinger that once again, barely snuck over the left field fence. The Green Wave tacked on a critical insurance run in the ninth when Witherspoon singled with one out and scored on a double from Williams to push the lead to 7-6.
“To their credit, they really got the bat head out and took advantage of the wind,” said Mainieiri on the mini home run derby that Tulane put on in the late March night. “We did on one, just not enough tonight.”
Some slight drama unfolded in the eighth for LSU, starting with Beau Jordan’s leadoff single to centerfield. He was moved over on a sac bunt from Papeierski and took third on a wild pitch. Robertson hit a chopper to his counterpart Sal Gozzo at short and with one out, Jordan was moving. The play at the plate was in time, and Jordan was ruled out. Mainieri argued that Jordan was illegally blocked from reaching the plate. The call was reviewed and upheld, and LSU missed scoring a run.
Antoine Duplantis struck out to start off the LSU ninth inning, but Deichmann was walked for a school-record tying fourth time, and he scored on a Josh Smith line drive that the first baseman misplayed. The ball rolled into the right field corner and moved Smith to third, scoring Deichmann to pull LSU within a run, but Jake Slaughter flew out to end the inning.
LSU will take a day off for practice before welcoming Texas A&M on Thursday. Thursday’s game will start at 6 p.m. and air on the SEC Network while Friday night’s 8 p.m. contest will air on ESPNU. Saturday’s finale will graduate to ESPN2 and start at 2:30.