March 6, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The potential game-tying run stepped to the plate in the ninth inning for the second straight contest, but the Tulane baseball team couldn't overcome the early deficit in their 5-1 loss versus #19 Ole Miss at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Green Wave collected eight hits and walked six times, but left 12 runners on base in the loss.
"We brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning and you always like to have a chance to win the ballgame at the end," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I think it was a very similar game to last night, in the fact that we did some things that you can't do against a ball club as good as Ole Miss. We put ourselves in a tough position early in the game with our errors, one that extended an inning and one that eventually led to some runs, and we just can't do that."
The Rebels (9-1) opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a pair of unearned runs against Matt Petiton. Miles Hamblin delivered the two-out, two-RBI single to left field after a fielding error extended the frame. In the fifth, back-to-back doubles from Alex Yarbrough and Matt Smith plated the third Ole Miss run of the contest and pushed their lead to 3-0.
Petiton would surrender the first three runs of the contest, just one being earned, and allowed just six hits in 4.1 innings. The senior walked just one batter and struck out five, falling to 1-2 on the year. Fellow senior Preston Claiborne came on to relieve Petiton in the fifth and recorded the next nine outs, allowing just two hits. Three runners reached base versus the right-hander, with two of them scoring, and he struck out seven batters in the relief appearance.
"Matt Petiton gave us a great effort to start and Preston Claiborne and Drew Zizinia each gave us what we wanted out of the bullpen," said Jones. "We do have a talented club but we have to play a more complete game to win these types of close games."
The Olive and Blue tallied their lone run in the fifth inning when Rob Segedin singled up the middle to bring Matt Ryan around to score. Ryan walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a Brennan Middleton base hit before scoring with two outs.
The two runs that Claiborne allowed came in the eighth when Tim Hightower drove in a run on a fielders choice and Kevin Mort's RBI single capped the scoring.
With the Rebels leading 5-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Tulane loaded the bases with two outs against UM reliever Matt Tracy. Middleton and Blake Crohan singled and Segedin worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load them up. Jeremy Schaffer stepped to the plate and sent a towering fly ball to center field that was caught by Tim Ferguson to end the game.
Crohan and Middleton each collected two hits in the contest, while Crohan also posted his seventh walk of the season. Segedin singled, drove in an RBI and walked twice for Tulane, but TU left 12 runners on-base and struck out ten times as a team in the loss.
The Green Wave are now 5-5 on the season and will host the Rebels in the series finale on Sunday, March 7 with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 at Greer Field and Turchin Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.