Tulane tops No. 11 ECU Baseball in series finale, 9-8

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – TULANE TOPS No. 11 ECU IN SERIES FINALE, 9-8

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Hudson Haskin collected five hits with three RBI and scored a pair of runs, while Brendan Cellucci worked a career-high 5.1 innings helping Tulane to a 9-8 American Athletic Conference win over No. 11 ECU Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Green Wave improves to 27-16 overall and 9-5 in league play, while the Pirates fall to 33-11 and 13-2.

Trailing by one, 9-8, ECU mounted a rally that was thwarted by Tulane in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jake Washer led off the frame with a single through the left side before being forced out at second on Turner Brown’s fielder’s choice. Stephen Wilmer drew a pinch-hit walk and Brady Lloyd reached on a fielder’s choice coupled with an error by Sal Gozzo at shortstop to load the bases. Ryder Giles stepped to the plate with and one out, but Trent Johnson got Giles to ground into a double play ending the contest and allowing the Green Wave to salvage a game in the series.

Cellucci (2-2) earned the win allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in relief. Johnson notched his first save of the season working two-thirds of an inning. Starter Chase Solesky was touched for five runs (all earned) on seven hits with a walk in three innings.

Evan Voliva (4-3) suffered the loss giving up three runs (all earned) on three hits and two strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning. Starter Tyler Smith worked five-plus frames where he surrendered four runs (all earned) six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Gavin Williams allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits in one-third of an inning, while Alec Burleson (2.0 IP, 2 Hs, 1 K) and Cam Colmore (1.0 IP, 1 H) tossed a combined three scoreless frames.

Tulane trailed 5-2 going into the sixth inning but erupted for five runs on four hits taking a 7-5 lead and never looked back. Haskin doubled home Cody Hoese for the first run, while Logan Stevens (double) and Acy Owen (single) had a pair of two-out, two-RBI base hits accounting for all five runs.

Haskin’s two-run homer in the seventh extended the Green Waves lead to four, 9-5. Hoese singled up the middle before Haskin’s shot to left field off of Williams on an 0-2 count.

The Pirates scored three-runs in the seventh inning pulling within one, 9-8. Bryant Packard singled through the right side and took second on Connor Norby’s ground out to second. Brickhouse drew a walk and Burleson’s three-run home to right field cleared the bases.

ECU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Brickhouse’s RBI single. Packard extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a single up the middle then moved to second on Lane Hoover’s ground out and rumbled home on Brickhouse’s base hit back up the middle that extended his on-base streak to 24 games.

The Pirates strung together four hits in the third scoring four runs to extend their lead to 5-0. Hoover singled to left and stole second before Brickhouse drew a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet and Burleson singled them both home with a two-RBI single to left. Washer followed with another single putting runners on first and second. Brown’s sac bunt pushed the runners up and Thomas Francisco’s single through the left side scored Burleson. Washer came around to score on Brady Lloyd’s groundout to short for the final run of the frame.

Tulane finally got on the board scoring runs in the fourth and fifth innings to make it a 5-2 ball game. Hoese singled with one out and Haskin followed with a double to left center. Grant Mathews’ grounder to second pushed across Hoese in the fourth. Owen’s RBI double to right field scored Stevens in the fifth frame.

ECU tallied double-digit hits for the 22nd time this season collecting 14 but fell to 21-1 on the season with 10 or more base knocks. Packard registered his fifth three-hit game of the season going 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Burleson, Francisco, Lloyd and Washer each banged out a pair of hits and Burleson drove in a game and career-high five runs.

Haskin led the Green Waves 14-hit attack with five, while Jonathon Artigues (two), Hoese (two) and Owen (three) each added multi-hit games. Haskin and Owen each plated three runs, while Stevens drove in a pair.

ECU will be back in action on Friday, May 3 when it travels to Cincinnati for a three-game AAC series. First pitch of the weekend is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) at Marge Schott Field.