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Ethan Groff’s Heroics Propel Tulane to Series Victory Over Mississippi State

Through 13.5 innings of the Mississippi State vs Tulane series, the reigning national champions were outscoring the Green Wave 30-3.

Down 10-2 on Saturday, Tulane flipped the script and came alive in the late innings; the Green Wave scored five runs in the 8th, two in the 9th to tie it, and Ethan Groff hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning to give Tulane the epic comeback victory.


“I’ve been hitting pretty well, so I thought that if this comes down to me, I had a chance to win it,” said Groff. “I’m the leadoff guy…. I’m just trying to get on, trying to steal bases and score runs. But, I do have a little power. It was pretty special that it happened at the right time.”



After Tulane’s come-from-behind 11-10 victory on Saturday, Tulane did the same on Sunday. After being down 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th, Tulane scored a run in the 7th and 8th innings to take the lead and eventually secure them a 5-4 victory and a series win.



“It all dates back to last year when we played them. We had the lead in the ninth in all three games and ended up blowing two of them,” Groff said. “That gave us the feeling that we could play with these guys.”


In 2021, Tulane gave up a walkoff grand slam on Saturday and a walkoff two-run single on Sunday, both after leading in the ninth inning.


“Coming into this year, we got smoked Friday night,” Groff said. “But, going into Saturday. This group just doesn’t give up. We’re just a bunch of guys that care, want to be there and want to win. Any deficit we have, we feel like we can win.”



Already in the 2022 season, Tulane has series victories at home over Mississippi State and on the road at Louisiana Tech. The Green Wave have shot up in the rankings quickly, as they enter week four of the regular season ranked No. 19 by College Baseball Nation.


“You can’t get too high, can’t get too low. You have to treat everyday like it’s Opening Day. Even though we had the big win, we didn’t want just one, we wanted two.”


Groff had an unbelievable weekend for Tulane, as he went 6-for-9 with two homers at the top of Tulane’s lineup. This isn’t anything new for the redshirt sophomore this season as he’s now hitting .475 with three homers through the first 12 games.


In 48 games last year, Groff hit just .192. Now, playing in his third season, Groff has completely turned it around.


“Over the years, it’s just learning to be more mature,” Groff said. “Even when you’re hot, it’s not necessarily about getting hits as much as seeing the ball and swinging as strikes.”



Groff’s walkoff ignited a spark for Tulane, as they now sit 10-2 on the season. The tough games won’t stop with the Mississippi State series, as they will head to No. 16 Southern Miss on Wednesday.


“That was awesome to have [the fans] come out and be there,” Groff said. “Especially after Friday, the fact that they kept coming back. We need that. It’s important to get fans there and to make Tulane a hostile environment to play at.”


With the fast start this season, Tulane will be looking to win the AAC and go to their first NCAA Tournament since 2016.

“The expectations are out there,” he said. “As long as we focus on what we’re doing in practice everyday and what we’re working on and getting better, we just feel like we can handle any kind of opponent that comes our way.”

 

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