March 6, 2009
New Orleans- The Green Wave dropped the Friday night opener of a three-game set with the University of Southern California Friday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, 4-2.
Tulane fell victim to an impressive outing from Trojans starter Brad Boxberger (2-0), who threw 7.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out 10 Green Wave batsmen.
"I thought we had really good pitching tonight, we out-hit them and we played errorless baseball," head coach Rick Jones said. "The problem is that we left ten guys on base and struck out 11 times, five of which were looking. We were just not tough enough with two strikes. We took too many pitches."
The contest started out as a pitching duel, with Tulane starter Conrad Flynn (1-2) taking the mound for his third appearance on the year. Flynn opened the game with back-to-back three up, three down innings, as did Boxberger. Flynn headed out in the top of the third and shut down the Trojans in order, sending each of them back to the bench with a backwards K in the book. It wasn't until Wave right fielder Drew Allain singled to left that the first hit was posted in the contest. With two outs and Allain on second, Nick Boullosa singled, moving Allain to third. It was there where Tulane would leave the two runners, the first of 10 on the night.
USC opened up the fourth frame with a single off the bat of lead-off hitter Mike O'Neill, who advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on a single from cleanup hitter Robert Stock, putting the Trojans on the board first. USC would later score again when Brandon Garcia blasted a solo home run to deep right field, and again when shortstop Grant Green would go station to station, finding his way home on a sac fly, giving the Trojans the 3-0 lead going into the seventh.
The Green Wave seemingly had a rally going in their half of the seventh with Steve Moritz leading off the frame with a single. Evan Mistich laced a double down the left field line, scoring Moritz to get the Green Wave on the board, 3-1. Mistich advanced to third on a ground ball hit to the right side and Boullosa reached on a base on balls but Tulane couldn't convert the base runners to runs, as they left Mistich and Boullosa stranded.
Tulane captured their final run of the ball game when they staged another rally, this time with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Freshman Jeremy Schaffer got it going with a base hit to left field, which brought a change of pitchers for USC. Ryan Cabral came in and issued a walk to Moritz walked, advancing Schaffer to second. Mistich singled, picking up the RBI when Schaffer crossed the plate but the Green Wave couldn't muster anymore run production, as the Trojans shut them down in the down in the ninth.
The Green Wave will look to even the series Saturday, as they take on the Trojans for game two at 2pm.