March 1, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Tulane's baseball squad returned to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the first time since the 1960s on Friday, and they got their first win there in that same amount of time, defeating the Crimson Tide, 4-0, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Tulane (5-5) tallied 11 hits on the evening, including four from senior leadoff hitter Brennan Middleton, who also added two RBIs. Sophomore righty Tony Rizzotti got the job done on the mound tonight, striking out ten Alabama (7-2) batters in seven innings.
"We bunched some hits together in the middle innings for the first time this year, and we played defense tonight like we normally play defense," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "I don't know if you can see many better pitching performances than what you saw from Tony Rizzotti and Ian Gibaut tonight. Rizzotti was outstanding through seven innings. Ian just went right after them with a great fastball."
Rizzotti (2-1), making his third start of his career, started hot on an evening where the temperatures dipped into the upper-30s. He retired the side in the first inning, and allowed only two base runners through the first three innings.
In the top of the third, Tulane put the only run on the board that they ended up needing in the third inning. With two outs, Middleton sent a shot into left field - his second of the game at that point - after freshman Cameron Burns reached on an infield single to Alabama starter Charley Sullivan that through him off the mound. Junior Briggs Barrios laced a shot down the right field line that scored Burns from second.
The top of the fourth inning was huge for the Green Wave, who added three runs in that frame. Senior Sean Potkay singled to center field and moved to third on a double by fellow senior Garrett Cannizaro. Freshman Richard Carthon - who got the start at designated hitter - was pulled in favor of a more experienced bat in Tucker Oakley. Despite swinging and missing at the third strike, Oakley was able to reach first on a wild pitch, and Potkay came home to score, going up 2-0. Middleton then nailed his third hit of the game to center field that scored Oakley and Cannizaro for the third and fourth runs for the Greenies.
Rizzotti allowed consecutive hits to right fielder Ben Moore and catcher Brett Booth to open the fourth inning, but was able to eliminate a base runner when Kenny Roberts grounded into a double play during the next at-bat. Rizzotti then sat Kyle Overstreet down on strikes for the final out of the inning.
The Greenies very nearly added a fifth run in the sixth inning when Burns - who went 2-for-3 on the evening - reached third on Middleton's double down the left field line. At that point, Sullivan (0-1) was replaced on the mound by freshman righty Keeton Haack, who got out of the inning without allowing Burns to come home.
Sullivan pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking one and striking out 12.
Rizzotti pitched one final inning - allowing only a single to Austen Smith - in the seventh before being replaced by freshman Ian Gibaut. Gibaut pitched strong in the eighth and ninth innings, striking out two and allowing no hits to close the game.
In addition to Middleton and Burns, senior Brandon Boudreaux compiled a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 at the plate with a stolen base. Redshirt junior Nick DiMaggio also recorded a stolen base when he replaced Oakley on the base paths after walking in the eighth.
Tomorrow, the Greenies will send senior righty Alex Byo to the mound for the 2pm CST game against the Crimson Tide. Byo (0-1) holds a 1.35 ERA in two starts on the season, being credited with last Saturday's loss against Notre Dame. He has pitched 13.1 innings, striking out 10 and walking three. Alabama will start lefty sophomore Jon Keller at pitcher on Saturday. Keller is 2-0 on the year, throwing 10 innings and striking out 13. Keller has allowed 11 hits, and has walked four.
Audio for tomorrow's contest will be made available to All-Access members through TulaneGreenWave.com only. Live stats are available through TulaneGreenWave.com.
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