Hitting, Fielding Overshadow Byo's Strong Performance in 2-0 Loss to Texas State

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Senior Brennan Middleton collected two of Tulane's four hits on the afternoon
Senior Brennan Middleton collected two of Tulane's four hits on the afternoon

Feb. 16, 2013

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SAN MARCOS, Texas - Despite a strong performance from senior right handed pitcher Alex Byo, the Green Wave bats were silenced as they lost, 2-0, to Texas State in San Marcos, Texas.

After posting a record of 9-4 during his junior campaign, Byo came out strong, hoping to match the performance put up by sophomore Tony Rizzotti from Friday night's performance. Byo threw very well, striking out seven in seven innings, while walking no batters.

"We had a tremendous pitching performance from Alex Byo today," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "He was so good, but not unexpected, because he had a really good preseason. We had three sacrifice opportunities that we did not move the runner. That, along with the errors, are why we lost today."

Unfortunately, Tulane's bats never came to life, as they only collected four hits through the contest. Senior Brennan Middleton laced a double down the left field line to lead off the top of the fourth, and he advanced to third on a fly ball by fellow senior Brandon Boudreaux, but he was left stranded. That was the closest Tulane came to scoring all day.

"I know we can hit," added Jones. "This is a club that swung the bat well against one of the top pitching staff's in the nation during fall ball and the preseason. We just didn't execute today."

Freshman Tim Yandel collected his first career hit in the sixth inning, getting the start at designated hitter on the day. Yandel - from Woodstock, Ga. - started second base yesterday, but moved to accommodate an injury to senior Blake Crohan. He hurt his shoulder in last night's contest. Bowen Woodson got the start at second base.

But the silver lining on the day was Byo. Through the first four innings, only one runner reached base on Byo when senior Garrett Cannizaro made an error in the third. However, Byo retired the first, second and fourth innings in order. After giving up singles in both the fifth and sixth, Byo got into a bit of trouble in the seventh inning. He allowed a single to Andrew Stumph to lead off the inning, and he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Colby Targun. Stumph eventually advanced to third when Kevin Sah hit a shot up the middle, but Byo was able to keep the scoreboard clean by retiring the next two batters.

Byo was pulled in the eighth for Tyler Mapes. Mapes (0-1) faced two batters in the eighth, giving up a hit to J.D. Stinnett and allowing Morgan Micklan to reach on a fielder's choice that put Stinnett out at second. Junior transfer Brady Wilson made his Tulane debut after Mapes through just nine pitches, and got off to a rough start when he hit Garrett Mattlage on the top of the foot to put runners and first and second. Brooks Orton then hit a routine grounder to second that was booted by Woodson, allowing J.D. Stinnett to come home and score the only run that was needed. Mattlage advanced to third on that play, and he scored the second run of the game after Ian Gibaut came in and got Stumph to hit into a sacrifice fly.

Texas State's Taylor Black started at pitcher today, going 7.2 innings and striking out seven. Donnie Hart (1-0) faced one batter to close out the eighth, striking out Boudreaux. Austen Williams came on in the ninth, striking out two for the save.

"You have to tip your hat to Black and Williams because both of those guys had outstanding stuff," said Jones.

Tomorrow's game against Missouri State will take place at 11am CST, and the Green Wave will give the ball to redshirt junior righty Kyle McKenzie, who notched a 4-2 record with a 2.86 ERA in 14 appearances (5 starts) in 2012. The Bears of Missouri State will throw right-handed pitcher Tyler Thompson into the mix against the Greenies. Thompson transferred from junior college powerhouse Jefferson College, where he posted a 12-1 record with a 2.16 ERA and 97 strikeouts over 91.2 innings during his sophomore campaign.

Fans can tune into Tulane's new flagship station, WMTI 106.1 FM, for tomorrow's broadcast. Live stats will also be made available through Texas State's web site (www.txstatebobcats.com).

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