NEW ORELANS — Tulane freshman third baseman Tim Yandel was mobbed by his ecstatic teammates after his single scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Green Wave an 11-10 win over High Point on Sunday afternoon. And shortly thereafter, he got his head shaved.
Yandel was one of several young players to come through for the team as Tulane took a 2-1 series win against the visiting Panthers.
Then he joined the rest of his teammates in a mass head-shaving as a fund-raiser for pediatric cancer.
A freshman from Woodstock, Ga., Yandel went 3-for-7 with three RBIs. But none was bigger than the last.
Tulane and High Point had been knocking around each other’s pitchers all day, combining for 36 hits. Tulane rallied twice to tie the game, at 6-6 in the fifth and then at 10-10 in the sixth. The Green Wave also had exhausted its bullpen, sending six pitchers to the mound. High Point had used four and was warming up a fifth. Then the teams were locked in a 10-10 stalemate after 31/2 hours, with a 5 p.m. deadline looming for the game to end so the Panthers could catch their flight back to North Carolina.
But the pressure apparently didn’t get to Yandel, who sent a flare into left field to score Sean Potkay, who had doubled off the left center field wall to start the inning.
“I was frustrated with him because I thought the first pitch was a hanging breaker that he could have put in the outfield,” Tulane coach Rick Jones said. “Fortunately, he got another one and did a good job with a good swing.”
Jones is not allowing freshmen to speak to the media this season.
Another freshman who came through for the Green Wave was right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut. The sixth pitcher to face the Panthers, Gibaut pitched the final five innings without allowing a run, gave up three hits, walked one and struck out three.
High Point got 18 hits off Tulane’s pitchers. Jones said the weekend series and a series of injuries has taken a toll on his pitching staff.
“The injuries in our pitching staff really showed today because we were so thin,” Jones said. “And thank goodness Ian Gibaut just really pitched well for us. He pitched 67 pitches, which was the highest for him. But he was pretty well-rested, and he got stronger. That’s why I had to leave him in there. The only guy we had left was our knuckleballer. We couldn’t burn that last arm or else we wouldn’t have had anybody left to pitch then.”
Tulane got 18 hits off four High Point pitchers. Designated hitter Richard Carthon had a career day, going 5-for-6 with three RBIs. He nearly tied a school record, but his attempt at a sixth hit was a well-played grounder to second base.
“That was a coming out party for him,” Jones said.
“I just did what I could to stay on top of the baseball,” said Carthon, who went into the game with five hits on the season. “We’ve been struggling this year. I just did whatever I could to get on base. I was seeing a lot better today, and I was just trying to stay up the middle. I just tried to stay relaxed. That helped out a lot. It was a good day.”
After the game, Tulane’s players and several other Green Wave athletes lined up to have their heads shaved for the Vs. Cancer Foundation, an organization founded by Jones’ nephew, who is a cancer survivor. Tulane said the team raised more than $10,000 last year for the charity.