NEW ORLEANS - Gunner Wright tossed seven shutout innings on Tuesday night to dazzle the fans inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, completing six no-hit innings to help the Tulane baseball team to a 1-0 victory over nationally-ranked Kansas.
The righty fanned five batters and allowed just one hit to collect the first victory of his Tulane career.
"You just never know when a run is going to win for you or get you beat," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We got the first run of the game and, ultimately, it won the contest for us. Obviously, Gunner Wright was a great boost for us tonight, he took the no-hitter into the seventh and barely missed getting the strikeout to start the eighth, but when you have a closer like Nick Pepitone sitting there it is a positive thing for our club."
Nick Boullosa opened the game for Tulane by beating out an infield grounder for a base hit and moved to third on a Rob Segedin single and an error by the KU left fielder. With one out and runners on second and third, Jeremy Schaffer hit a groundball to the right side of the infield that enabled Boullosa to scamper home for the lone run of the contest. Wright would retire the first eight batters he faced, before walking Jason Brunansky with two outs in the third inning. Overall, the junior from Shawnee, Oklahoma sat down the side in order during four of his seven innings of work and allowed multiple base runners in the seventh inning only.
In the seventh, Wright allowed a leadoff single, breaking up the no-hit bid, and walked the next batter to put two runners on base. The junior then struck out the next batter, coaxed a flyout and got a groundball to end the threat.
"I really tried not to think about it," said Gunner Wright of the no-hit bid. "I just stuck to the game plan and threw what coach Cressend called. In the seventh Rob (Segedin) came and talked to me when the runner reached second. He told me to calm down and keep pounding the zone like I had been early in the game. Getting out of that jam was big, but the first inning really boosted my confidence getting the strikeout to start the game."
The Jayhawks threatened in each of the final three innings, with KU stranding one in the eighth and two in the ninth, but junior closer Nick Pepitone came on to relieve Wright after a leadoff walk in the eighth and tossed the next two innings scoreless.
In the KU ninth, a leadoff single was followed by a pair of groundouts, moving the runner to third base, and Pepitone walked the next batter to put two runners on. The junior collected the final out via fly ball to Boullosa that the junior squeezed to give the Olive and Blue their 11th win of the season.
Boullosa was one-for-four with the lone run of the game, while Blake Crohan, Matt Ryan and Segedin each collected two hits. Segedin extended his hitting streak to 15 games, while Garrett Cannizaro's 15-gamer came to an end on Tuesday. Schaffer and Brandon Boudreaux each chipped in a hit to account for the 9-2 advantage that TU held in that department.
Wright improved to 1-0 in his Tulane career with five strikeouts, four walks and only one hit allowed in his second career start. Pepitone came on to collect his second save of the year with two shutout innings.
The Green Wave are now 11-6 overall on the season and will host the Jayhawks in a Wednesday afternoon affair starting at 1:00.