(UL Athletics) – New Orleans, LA – Louisiana Baseball took Tulane 10 innings in the 2021 season opener but ultimately dropped a high-quality pitchers dual by a score 3-2 on Friday at Greer Field and Turchin Stadium.
After starting his day 0-for-4, Luis Aviles recorded a two-RBI walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Green Wave the win.
Friday’s starting pitchers brought their top-notch stuff, both tossing 5.0 or more innings and allowing zero earned runs. Hayden Durke, the first freshman opening day starting pitcher in program history, went toe-to-toe with the Preseason American Conference Pitcher of the Year, Braden Olthoff.
Even though Louisiana (0-1) did not tally a run while Olthoff was on the bump, the Ragin’ Cajuns did a nice job working counts and forcing an early exit for the right-handed pitcher.
Durke dominated Tulane’s (1-0) lineup all afternoon, finishing with a final line of 5.0 innings pitched, one hit, no earned runs allowed and five punch outs.
Connor Kimple, who finished 2-for-3 on the day, broke open the scoring in the seventh inning with a towering home run to left field, his first as a Ragin’ Cajun.
Tulane was quick to answer, however, drawing a slew of walks and tying the game, 1-1. Both Louisiana and Tulane were unable to produce runs in the final two frames, forcing extra innings.
Kimple started the 10th with a single and advanced to second on the failed pick-off attempt by Justin Campbell. Campbell then missed the bag while covering first base on a Ben Fitzgerald ground ball, which gave the Cajuns runners on first and third.
Tulane used two walks to start the inning and then another walk later in the frame to load the bases for Aviles, who end the game with a his single.