Feb. 23, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - In his second start of the season, senior Alex Byo had a strong outing on the mound, but it wasn't enough for the Green Wave, as they fell to Notre Dame, 3-1, in game two of the weekend series at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Byo (0-1) struck out three over the course of 6.1 innings for Tulane (3-3) who dropped their second straight tilt to Notre Dame (4-1).
"Alex Byo pitched well enough for us to win the ball game ," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "Again we've gotten off to a very poor defensive start as a club, and this is a club that features the majority of a team that was 11th in the nation in defense this year back. I think we are somewhere between pressing and sloppy, both of those are bad, and that really hurt us today, because we pitched well enough."
The Green Wave committed three errors on the day.
Tulane saw themselves in a hole after the top of the first, when Byo (0-1) walked leadoff batter Frank DeSico to start the game. DeSico subsequently scored the first run of the day on a throwing error after he stole second base and advanced to third on a fly out. Byo intentionally walked Notre Dame slugger Eric Jagielo - who also stole second base - eventually scored on a double laced by Ryan Bull down the left field line.
After that inning, however, Byo pitched effectively until he was replaced in the seventh inning.
"I felt fine, I wasn't worried," said Byo. "If I hadn't have walked that guy to leadoff the (first) inning, we probably would have gotten out of [the first] inning unscathed. I knew that I just needed to settle down and start pounding the strike zone, and I did that."
Tulane put a run on the board in the second inning when junior Andrew Garner came around the bags on a double by freshman Cameron Burns. However, it was the only run on the day for Tulane - despite the fact they collected eight hits and two walks on the afternoon.
"We didn't bunch any hits together today, and I thought that was maybe one of the reasons we lost today," added Jones.
Notre Dame's Adam Norton gave up seven of Tulane's hits on the day, but he also struck out five. Norton (2-0) earned his second win on the season.
The Greenies nearly added a run in the sixth inning, starting when senior Garrett Cannizaro singled to lead off the inning. He moved to second on a balk by Donnie Hissa, who replaced Norton after the starter gave up the single to Cannizaro. Freshman Richard Carthon - who went 1-4 at the plate - grounded out to the pitcher, but moved Cannizaro to third. However, he was left stranded as junior Bowen Woodson struck out to end the threat.
Byo was replaced in the top of the seventh after loading the bases on two singles and an error in the middle of the infield. Senior David Napoli came on in relief, allowing a sacrifice fly by Jagielo to score Forrest Johnson for the third and final run of the day for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame dipped into their bullpen for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, bringing in Zak Kutsulis, Cristian Torres and Dan Slania, respectively. Slania notched his second save of the season, retiring the side for the victory.
"They kept changing the look on us, and to their credit they've got a lot of arms to do that," said Jones.
Green Wave senior Brennan Middleton tallied three hits on the afternoon - the second straight day he has totaled that number. On the season, he has notched 10 hits, pacing the way for the Greenies.
The Green Wave dropped the first game of the series, 2-1, on Friday night, despite a strong pitching performance from redshirt sophomore righty Tony Rizzotti. Middleton notched three hits in that contest.
The final game of the series will be held on Sunday at 12pm CST. Tulane will send Kyle McKenzie (0-0) to the mound during the final game of the series against Notre Dame freshman righty David Hearne (0-1).
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