CLEARWATER, Fla. — The night was perfect for baseball, with a full moon rising and the feel of the summer breeze, the sun sitting beyond the western horizon, the setting was perfect for game number two of the American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.
The No.1 seed and regular season champion Tulane University waited to face the No.8 seed from just down the road located in Orlando, Central Florida University.
It was not as easy for Tulane University and for Green Wave’s baseball coach David Pierce as he summoned on his bullpen six times to find the right pitcher to shut down Central Florida University and secure the win.
As the dust settled back down on the infield of Bright House Field, the excitement exited the seats, Tulane University held on for a 4-3 victory against the Golden Knights.
The game had plenty of pitchers out on the mound but also there were some excellent defensive plays.
The best one came in the top of the eighth inning for Tulane University that help preserve the victory for the Green Wave.
With two outs and Central Florida University threaten to do damage with runners first and third, Green Wave shortstop Stephen Alemais scooted across the dirt of the infield went to his knees and dug out the ground ball hit by UCF’s right fielder Eli Putnam.
Alemais recovered to his feet, threw the ball across the diamond wide of the bag but fortunate toward the runner and good play by first baseman Hunter Williams completed the good play and end the threat.
Central Florida University took the lead in the fifth inning scoring three runs and making Golden Knights baseball coach Terry Ronney keeping a watchful eye on his starting pitcher Robby Howell.
Howell worked 6.2 innings facing 31 batters and striking out three but walked four for his team but the Green Waves cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth by scoring two runs.
The defense for Central Florida University made three errors and none more damaging than the throw to first made by Howell that sailed past Golden Knights first baseman Austin Griffith moving up to second base Green Waves center fielder Grant Weatherspoon, he was awarded first base after getting hit by a pitch.
Weatherspoon scored the winning what looked like a home run but was ruled a ground-rule double hit by Green Waves’ designated hitter Jeremy Montalbano, he hit the ball thrown by Howell that sailed between the sign age down the right field line.
Tulane University moves forward and will not play again until Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the University of Houston and that will be good for Pierce and his tired pitching staff.
Central Florida University will recover but will be back in action against the University of Cincinnati Wednesday night, Ronney is hoping to extend the Golden Knights season with a win against the Bearcats.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation.
I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.