Feb. 24, 2012
Box Score (PDF) | Season Statistics
Senior D. Ponder Postgame Comments (Video) | Senior J. Schaffer Postgame Comments (Video) | Freshman R. LeBlanc Postgame Comments (Video)
NEW ORLEANS - It looked like a night that the offense - and Randy LeBlanc - would reign supreme, but that wasn't the case in the Tulane baseball team's 3-2 victory over Indiana to open a three-game set on Friday (Feb. 24) on the turf inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Randy LeBlanc picked up his first career win and Blake Crohan plated the game winning run in the first inning to help TU claim the series opener versus the Hoosiers.
"Randy got the win and he fought through some things tonight," said head coach Rick Jones. "Randy stuff is so special, but he has to be able to stay in the zone for his entire outing. He is as competitive as anyone you will ever find and he dug deep (to get out of some jams). Offensively, we came out very aggressive early, but they changed the look on us with a hard throwing right-hander and a funky lefty, so you have to give them credit for that, but we were very unaggressive early in the count on some fastballs and we have to be able to be more aggressive in those situations."
After LeBlanc (1-0) struck out the side in the first inning, the Green Wave (5-1) offense got to work quickly. Brandon Boudreaux doubled, moved to third on a groundout and came in to score on a passed ball. With the score sitting at 1-0, Jeremy Schaffer walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and came in to score on an Andrew Garner double to left center field. Garner scored one batter later on a single by Blake Crohan and the Green Wave staked to an early 3-0 advantage.
With the score at 3-2, both pitching staffs worked in and out of trouble. Indiana (2-2) loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and LeBlanc struck out the final two batters of the frame to hold the one-run lead. The Green Wave loaded the bases in the fourth and put two runners on in the sixth, but came away empty handed thanks to solid bullpen work by the Hoosiers.
Overall, LeBlanc tossed six innings and allowed two runs - one earned - to grab his first collegiate win in five starts. The right-hander walked a career-high four, but fanned eight and watched as his defense took care of the rest. Schaffer gunned down three base runners and Brennan Middleton connected with Sean Potkay to turn a double play in the game.
"With the exception of the one player where the scored the second run we were pretty sound defensively," Jones said. "It was a tough night for fly balls. The wind was swirling and it was raining, it wasn't easy out there. I thought the play that Brandon Boudreaux made in the second inning was absolutely huge. You never know when a play is going to win or lose a game for you. I thought Brennan's double play was big and D.J. (Ponder) came in and just pounded the zone (with strikes)."
D.J. Ponder came out of the bullpen for the third time this season and dispatched of all nine batter that he faced in the outing. The senior struck out three batters to collect his first save of the season and second of his career. On the season, Ponder has walked one and allowed only one hit in ten innings of work.
At the plate, Boudreaux and Middleton each extended their hitting streaks to three games and Crohan posted his second straight multi-hit contest with two hits on the night. Schaffer walked three times and scored a run, while Garner doubled, scored a run and drove in an RBI versus the Hoosiers.
Tulane continues their three game series with Indiana on Saturday, Feb. 25 with a 2:00 contest inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The series will conclude with a game on Sunday, Feb. 26 starting at 1:00.
- With their win on Friday, Tulane snapped a three game losing streak versus the Hoosiers. Indiana leads all-time series 3-1.
- Randy LeBlanc picked up his first career win in five starts, ending a string of four straight no decisions.
- D.J. Ponder picked up his first save of 2012 - second career - with three scoreless innings on Friday night.
- Ponder retired all nine batters he faced on Friday and has allowed one walk and one hit in ten innings of work this season.
- Brandon Boudreaux and Brennan Middleton each extended their hitting streaks to three games.
- Garrett Cannizaro had his eight game hitting streak snapped on Friday, going 0-for-4.