Late Homers, Flynn's Pitching Lifts Baseball Past Lipscomb, 7-4

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Junior right-hander Conrad Flynn scattered three hits and struck out eight in 8.0 shutout innings during Friday's win over Lipscomb.
Junior right-hander Conrad Flynn scattered three hits and struck out eight in 8.0 shutout innings during Friday's win over Lipscomb.

Feb. 26, 2010

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NEW ORLEANS - A steady rain fell throughout the ballgame, but nothing could stop the hot right arm of junior right-hander Conrad Flynn or quiet the power bats of freshman second baseman Brennan Middleton and sophomore third baseman Rob Segedin as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Lipscomb, 7-4, Friday evening on a soggy Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.

Both Middleton and Segedin hit two-run homers in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, to stretch the Green Wave lead. The four runs proved to be big as the Bison plated four runs in the ninth. The game, however, belonged to Flynn as the Midland, Texas, native struck out eight in 8.0 shutout innings while allowing just three hits and no walks.

The Green Wave tallied double-digit hit totals for the fourth time in five games this year, including three-hit performances by Segedin and freshman right fielder Brandon Boudreaux. With the victory, Tulane runs its winning streak to three to improve to 3-2 on the year. Lipscomb, meanwhile, remains winless in 2010 at 0-4.

"Conrad threw 100 pitches and that's why we got him out," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said on removing Flynn after the eighth. "It's February, he's our Friday night guy and there's a big weekend coming up next weekend. It looked like a great decision there in the ninth after we stretched the lead. I thought he really pounded the zone, mixed his pitches and kept them off stride.

"Had the game been closer, would Conrad have gone back out in the ninth? That would have been something we would have talked about. You don't' want to go past where we went with him if you can help it this early in the season when you know you're going to count on him for so many innings during the course of it."

The Bison, meanwhile, made things interesting after Flynn's exit. An error, a pair of hit batsmen and a walk turned into a Lipscomb run, and with the bases still loaded with nobody out, Andrew Nickerson laced an RBI-single to left center to make it a 7-2 ballgame.

From there, however, junior reliever Drew Zizinia got catcher Logan Hostettler to bounce into a double play to take a little pressure off. Lipscomb got an RBI-double off the bat of designated hitter Lee Wilson and saw right fielder Antonio Butler reach on a strikeout-wild pitch to bring the tying run to the plate. Lipscomb lead-off hitter Tyler Wilson worked the count full, but Zizinia induced a dribbler to first to end the rally and the game.

Outside of the wild ninth, it was all Tulane. Boudreaux put the Green Wave on the board in the second with a two-run double, and Middleton made it a 3-0 ballgame with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. Middleton blew the game open with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh and Segedin appeared to put the game away with a towering, two-run blast to right an inning later to set up Lipscomb's come-back attempt.

The Green Wave had a chance to score several runs earlier in the game but wound up stranding 10 runners on base, including four in scoring position. A big reason for that was the performance of Lipscomb starter Josh Smith, who struck out seven while giving up seven hits and five walks while giving up three runs over the first 6.0 innings. The two home runs came off Bison reliever Josh Cotham.

"I give a lot of credit to Smith," Jones said. "That guy pitched well. He's got good stuff and he's the Friday-night guy. You know when you get here, you're going to see a guy like that. He really lived up to his billing. He had a good fastball, good command of his breaker, he was very competitive and had a good release time.

"It was hard to run on him, and it was a hard night to hit. I know we hit some home runs, but when you're standing at the plate and it's raining on you like that, it's not as easy as when the conditions are perfect."

Tulane and Lipscomb will continue the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 11 a.m. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.