Zorn's hit helps NSU snap losing streak against Tulane
THIBODAUX — Berwick alum David Zorn’s RBI-triple in the bottom of the eighth inning helped Nicholls tie its contest against Tulane, while an error on the throw in to third gave Nicholls a 6-5 lead, which it preserved for a victory Tuesday.
With the win, the Colonels improve to 6-2 on the year and 4-1 at home, matching the team’s longest winning streak of the season at three games, while also snapping an eight-game losing streak to Tulane (3-5) dating to 2006.
With Nicholls leading 4-1 in the top of the sixth, Tulane scored a run on an RBI-single to cut the deficit to 4-2 with starter Zach Thiac just one out away from getting out of the inning without further damage.
However, a walk to Tulane’s Grant Cannizaro proved to be costly as Andrew Garner stepped up to the plate and drilled a three-run home run over the left-field fence to give Tulane its second lead of the game, 5-4.
Thiac would get out of the inning, facing two more batters, and exited the game with six innings of work with two strikeouts and two walks.
After the four runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the Colonels were struggling at the plate and left five runners on base during the game, but in the eighth after the first two batters went down on strikeouts to David Napoli (0-1), Tyler Duplantis walked to put another two-out runner on base for Nicholls.
Already with one hit in the game, Zorn hit a high-flying shot to the right field line that bounced off of the diving fielder’s glove in fair territory to allow Duplantis to score the game-tying run, with Zorn already on his horse getting to third as the throw from the Tulane first baseman sailed, allowing the redshirt sophomore outfielder to score the game-winning run on the error to put Nicholls up 6-5.
Nicholls was aggressive on the bases from the start, as the team finished the night with four stolen bases.
Zorn had two and Philip Lyons and Leo Vargas had one each. This heads-up base running played in the Colonels’ favor in the fourth as a single by Keith Cormier and double by Seth Stevens put two in scoring position with one out.
Zorn was plunked to load the bases as Tulane relieved starter Tyler Mapes after an injury to his pitching hand.
After a strikeout, Vargas singled to a falling second baseman, allowing Cormier and Stevens to score and advancing Zorn to third to put runners at the corners.
Zorn then stole home on an attempted pick off of Vargas at first for the third run of the inning to put Nicholls up 3-1.
Before the Colonels got to the eighth inning, Nicholls’ Chris Miller (1-0) came on in relief in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, before handing off the ball to Jordan McCoy in the ninth.
The Green Wave didn’t make it easy as the first batter lined out to second base, and the next Green Wave batter singled through the left side to put one on.
An unassisted grounder to first base advanced the runner to second but pushed Tulane to the brink with just one out left.
Another single and catcher’s interference loaded the bases and brought Sean Potkay to the plate with the game on the line.
After getting to a 3-0 count, McCoy laced the final three pitches right down the plate as Potkay went down looking to end the game and give Nicholls the win and his third save of the season.
Nicholls finished with seven hits in the game, with Zorn going 2-for-2 with an RBI, two runs, a double and a triple, and Philip Lyons going 2-for-3 with a run and a double.
Mapes gave up three of the first Colonel runs in the game, while Napoli gave up the final three — two earned — in the loss as the Tulane pitching staff did manage to strike out 14 Nicholls batters.
The Colonels return to action Thursday, taking on Louisiana-Lafayette, who lost 11-2 to No. 4 LSU earlier Tuesday night.