March 2, 2012
Box Score (PDF) | Season Statistics
Junior B. Middleton Postgame Comments (Video) | Senior J. Schaffer Postgame Comments (Video)
NEW ORLEANS - It didn't look as if either offense was going to give in to the other, but the Tulane baseball team got another solid effort out of their bullpen and the timely hit allowed the Green Wave to claim a 9-7 series opening win over Alabama in front of 3,156 fans inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. It was the fifth straight win for the Olive and Blue and helped the 2012 edition start the year 9-1, marking the first time that a TU squad has done that since 2005.
"We got off to a good lead," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones, "they came back and tied it. We took (the lead) back and they tied it. (We) are playing a good club and they are scrapping. Fortunately we had some really good at bats that produced runs. We did make a couple of outs on the base paths that we didn't need to make and we'll address that. I thought we had a good approach at the plate most of the night and we played really well defensively. We got really good pitching performances from (Andrew) Garner and (D.J.) Ponder."
The Green Wave (9-1) got a first inning run for the fifth time this season to jump out to an early lead against Alabama (4-5) starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau. Brandon Boudreaux doubled to right field in the first at-bat of the game to extend his hitting streak to seven games. A Nick Schneeberger single moved Boudreaux to third and an infield single from Andrew Garner scratched the first run of the game across.
Blake Crohan struck with his first home run of the season - 11th of his career - with two outs in the bottom of the third inning to push the Green Wave back into the lead. After walks to Sean Potkay and Bowen Woodson, Brennan Middleton's infield single scored the sixth run of the game for the home squad. It extended Middleton's hitting streak to seven games and the junior has plated at least one RBI in four straight contests.
The see-saw battle continued in the fifth inning when Alabama pulled even at six. Carlisle plated two more runs with a double to left center field, scoring Dugas and Reaves, ending the night for Tulane starting pitcher Randy LeBlanc.
LeBlanc left the game with one out in the fifth and was replaced by Garner, who struck out the final two batters to keep the game tied. LeBlanc ended the night with four and one-thirds innings of work, allowing six runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out two in the no decision.
"Our starting pitching - I don't think anybody on our team is really worried about that," said senior Jeremy Schaffer. "We know what those guys have and what they are going to bring to the table for the whole season and we just know they are going to be there. With the bats, it was another really good night. We're feeling good as a team right now and we just have to put this game past us, come out tomorrow ready to have another good day."
Three more runs by Tulane in the bottom of the fifth pushed the home team back on top. The inning started with singles from Woodson and Middleton, followed by a walk to Boudreaux to load the bases with one out. Back-to-back RBI singles from Cannizaro and Schaffer and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Schneeberger made the score 9-6 in favor of Tulane.
Garner (3-0) would allow just one run over three innings of relief work to earn his third victory of the season. The sophomore fanned two and allowed just three base runners before handing the ball to D.J. Ponder with one out and a runner on second base in the eighth. Ponder fanned the final two batters of the eighth and then retired the side in order - including a strikeout of the final batter - to record his second save of the season.
Alabama added a run in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Brett Booth to account for the final margin of 9-7.
Overall, the offense posted ten-plus hits for the fourth straight game and eight of their nine starters collected hits in the contest. All nine players reached base twice in the contest, including two-hit efforts from Cannizaro, Middleton, Schaffer, and Schneeberger. Cannizaro followed up his career-high RBI night from Tuesday with three more on Friday, while Boudreaux, Middleton, Potkay and Woodson all scored twice on the evening.
Tulane will look to secure their third straight series with on Saturday, March 3 when they host the Crimson Tide at 2:00 on the Turf at Turchin. The series finale will start at 1:00 on Sunday, March 4.
- This marks the first time since 2005 that Tulane has started a season with a 9-1 mark.
- Tulane has posted ten-plus hits in four straight games now.
- Eight of Tulane's nine starters posted hits, while all nine reached base twice in the game.
- Brandon Boudreaux extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double to lead off the game.
- Blake Crohan hit his first home run of the season - 11th of his career- in the third inning.
- Brennan Middleton drove in an RBI for the fourth straight game, while extending his hitting streak to seven games with an infield single in the third.
- With four multi-hit efforts, Tulane now has six games in 2012 with four or more players boasting multi-hit contests.
- Taylor Dugas of Alabama scored his 200th career run and drove in his 100th career RBI in the contest.