Feb. 17, 2013
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Tulane's bullpen made it interesting, but the Green Wave bats couldn't be silenced today as they collected 14 hits in a 6-4 win against Missouri State in the Greenies final game at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.
Every starter collected at least one hit on the day - including two each by Briggs Barrios, Brandon Boudreaux, Sean Potkay and Andrew Garner. The Green Wave only registered seven hits in the first two games of the season.
"We beat a really good club today," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "Briggs, Brandon Boudreaux and Sean Potkay all hit the ball very well today. Tucker Oakley gave us a big lift as a pinch hitter. We played better defensively and we executed today."
Redshirt junior right handed pitcher Kyle McKenzie got off to a hot start, striking out three through the first three innings, and he was helped early by Tulane's sticks. Junior Briggs Barrios walked early in the first inning - facing right handed pitcher Tyler Thompson - and Brandon Boudreaux moved him over to second base with a single through the left side. Both runners advanced on a short hit by Sean Potkay right back to the pitcher, and they came home to score on a double to left field by Garrett Cannizaro.
Barrios and Potkay reached base on singles in the third, and Cannizaro nearly hit a home run to left field, but it was caught at the warning track by Keenen Maddox.
With one out in the top of the fourth, McKenzie faced his first challenge of the day, as he gave up a single to Luke Voit in the fourth and followed that up with a single to Koby Peebles - after a questionable pitch that the crowd that was the third strike - that advanced Voit to third. Conner Wilson knocked the third straight hit off McKenzie, allowing Voit to come home for the first run for Missouri State. Tate Matheny then laced a double down the right field line to tie the game at two runs apiece.
A pair of freshman collected their first career hits in the fourth, as Richard Carthon hit a triple to right center field. He was brought home by catcher Cameron Burns' single to right field to take the lead, 3-2.
In the fifth, Potkay crushed a ball to left center that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double, and he advanced to third on a fly ball to center by Cannizaro. Andrew Garner - who had struggled at the plate the last few days - brought Potkay home on a line drive to center field. Freshman Tim Yandel then rocketed a pitch down the right field line. Thompson (0-1) was pulled in favor of Grant Gordon, who subsequently struck Carthon out to end the threat for more runs. For the day, Thompson pitched 4.2 innings, allowing ten hits and striking out only one.
McKenzie (1-0) went five innings, giving up five hits and striking out four.
Napoli, a weekend starter for most of last season, came on in relief of McKenzie in the sixth, and he walked Matheny and threw a wild pitch to get things started. However, he settled down and got out of the inning unscathed. In the seventh, an error by shortstop Brennan Middleton allowed Dylan Becker to take first base, and he was moved to second on a single to left field by Travis McComack. Napoli got out of the inning by getting the next batter, Voit, to hit into a double play - Tulane's first of the season.
Napoli struggled to find the plate in the top of the eighth, walking two batters with only one out. Andrew Garner - who started the game at designated hitter - replaced Napoli on the mound. Garner immediately gave up a single to fill the bases, but got out of the inning after getting pinch hitter Conor Smith to fly out to center.
Tulane added a couple of insurance runs when Garner - who reached base on a double - came home on a pinch hit single by Tucker Oakley, going up 5-2. Nick DiMaggio replaced Oakley on the base paths and he came around to score the sixth run of the game on a single by Barrios.
Freshman Ian Gibaut made things interesting again when he came on in relief for the second time in two days. In the ninth, after walking the initial batter he faced, he got the next two batters to fly out to Boudreaux in center field. However, he then plunked Voit on the hand and then gave up a two-run double with two outs. After walking the next batter, he was replaced by Brady Wilson, who walked Matheny to load the bases. He then struck out pinch hitter Tyler Harris to end the game. Wilson was credited with a save.
"The zone got really tight at the end of the game," said Jones. "To his credit, Garner came in and did a great job to get us out of the eighth. Ian Gibaut got squeezed a little bit there. He was one pitch away from getting out of it."
Tulane will host their first home game at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Tuesday against Southeastern Louisiana. The game will begin at 6:30pm CST. The Green Wave hold a commanding lead in the all-time series against the Lions, going 71-29. The two squads faced each other three times in 2012, with Tulane winning each contest.
Fans can tune into Tulane's new flagship station, WMTI 106.1 FM, for Tuesday's broadcast, and live video and audio will be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com to All-Access members. Live stats will also be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com.
You can follow Green Wave baseball on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.