Redshirt sophomore pitcher Alex Massey made his first appearance since the 2012 season
Feb. 16, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Sophomore left fielder Richard Carthon led a 12-hit Green Wave attack with three hits in four at-bats as the Tulane University baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Arkansas-Pine Bluff with an 11-4 victory on Sunday afternoon on Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, Tulane (4-0) exploded for six runs in the home half of the frame to take control of the contest. The Golden Lions (0-4) made things interesting with two runs in the sixth, but the Green Wave got the two tallies back in the bottom of the inning and added three more in the seventh to quiet any talks of a UAPB comeback.
Sunday's win marked Tulane's first sweep of a weekend opponent since taking all three games from Southern Miss from May 4-6, 2012. The four wins against the Golden Lions gives the Green Wave their first four-game series sweep since doing so against Siena to open the 2012 campaign.
"We scored 11 runs today and put pressure on the defense," said Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones. "We are going to have to manufacture and pitch well and we're going to have to take care of the baseball. Some days you are going to swing it better than others, some days you might not. But those two things, pitching and defense, have to be constant, and we have got to keep being aggressive on the bases."
Redshirt-sophomore right-hander Alex Massey, who came in for starter Corey Merrill to start the fifth inning, earned the win out of the bullpen after giving up two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out five in 3.0 innings of work. Sophomore Dan Rankin hung zeroes over the final two innings, striking out a pair and giving up just one hit along the way.
Carthon was one of three Tulane players to post a multiple-hit contest as senior first baseman Bowen Woodson was 2-of-4 with an RBI and a run scored while freshman catcher Jake Rogers went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run of his own. Carthon and Rogers were joined by junior second baseman Garrett Deschamp and senior designated hitter Nick DiMaggio with two RBI apiece.
UAPB wasted little time getting to Merrill as catcher Mike Wieland and centerfielder Rashawn Tillman opened the game with back-to-back walks and shortstop Isias Alcanter blooped a one-out infield single just past the pitcher's mound to load the bases. From there, first-baseman Joshua Cassidy drove in Wieland with an RBI-single to left and first baseman Kirby Campbell plated Tillman with a run-scoring groundout to third.
Carthon sparked Tulane's big first inning with a leadoff single to center, freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais was hit by a pitch and a Deschamp fielder's choice ground ball resulted in no outs as the Green Wave loaded the bases with nobody out. One out later, DiMaggio tied the game with a two-run single to right, but that was just the start of things to come.
Freshman right fielder Lex Kaplan followed with a run-scoring base hit to right and Woodson dribbled an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to make it 4-2. After a fielder's choice groundout by centerfielder John Gandolfo, Rogers ripped an RBI single to center and Carthon capped the scoring with a run-scoring base hit to right.
Neither team could scratch across a run over the next four innings, but the Arkansas-Pine Bluff offense got things going in the top of the sixth as Wieland followed a one-out walk by right fielder Jerimiah Figueroa with a base hit to center and Tillman loaded the bases with a single to left. A run-scoring ground-out to second off the bat of Alcantar cut the Tulane lead to three and third baseman Joshua Cassidy followed an intentional walk to Andre Davis with an RBI-single to left to plate Wieland. The damage could have been worse, but Carthon was able to corral the ball on a hop and got the ball quickly to the infield where third baseman Hunter Hope relayed the ball to the plate to gun down Tillman.
Rogers got things going for the Green Wave in the bottom of the frame with a one-out walk and Carthon followed with a bunt single up the first-base line. With two away, Deschamp came up with a clutch, two-run double to center to extend Tulane's lead to 9-4.
On inning later, Gandolfo and Rogers both tallied RBI singles and Carthon lifted a sacrifice fly to right to account for the final score.
UAPB starter Dixon Marble (0-1) was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk while fanning five in 5.0 innings on the hill. Tulane touched up Redmond Floyd for two runs on a pair of hits and a walk in the sixth and added three more runs off of Didier Landry.
Cassidy was one of three Golden Lions to post multiple-hit outings, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI while Figueroa and left fielder Andre Davis both had two hits.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, Feb. 21 in Ruston, La., when they open up Conference USA play against Louisiana Tech.
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