Cougars’ grand slam breaks No. 1 Green Wave
The No. 5 seeded Houston Cougars stunned the American Athletic Conference’s top team by handing the No. 1 Tulane University Green Wave a 5-3 defeat Thursday.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Seth Romero showed why he was selected to the AAC Second Team last week with his dominant performance against the Green Wave. Romero earned the win by pitching six and two-thirds innings of four-hit baseball.
Romero baffled Tulane hitters with his slider and fastball all afternoon and set an AAC Championship record by recording 11 strikeouts.
Despite a hot start, the sophomore found himself in trouble in the third inning when Tulane’s junior infielder Stephen Alemais doubled to centerfield to give the Green Wave an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third inning the Cougars managed to load the bases by way of a single and a pair of walks. With runners on every base, freshman first baseman Joe Davis stepped in the batter’s box and proceeded to launch his 12th home run of the season to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead.
Tulane did not go down quietly, however.
Alemais once again came through for the Green Wave by hitting an RBI single to center field in the fifth inning.
With the score 4-2 and Romero beginning to fatigue, Tulane’s Matt Rowland delivered a pinch hit RBI single in the seventh inning that spelled the end of Romero’s afternoon.
Exiting with a 4-3 lead, Romero handed the ball to junior closer Nick Hernandez who shut the door on the Green Wave. Hernandez pitched the final two and one-third innings and tallied three strikeouts of his own.
An insurance run driven by sophomore outfielder Corey Julks in the bottom of the eighth inning allowed Hernandez some much-needed breathing room to finish the game.
Tulane will now play in an elimination game against the University of Central Florida on Friday morning. The winner of that game will move on to play Houston at 9 a.m. Saturday.