Junior David Napoli Tossed 6.2 Innings to Pick Up the Win on Saturday at Wichita State
March 10, 2012
Box Score (PDF) | Season Statistics
Junior S. Potkay Postgame Comments (Video) | Junior D. Napoli Postgame Comments (Video)
WICHITA, Kan. - Sean Potkay provided most of the offense for the Tulane Baseball team and David Napoli was solid in his first start of the season on Saturday (March 10) in a 7-2 victory over Wichita State at Eck Stadium. The Green Wave scored four in the fourth inning and three runs in the ninth inning to even the three-game set at one win apiece entering the series finale on Sunday.
"We only had eight hits," said head coach Rick Jones, "but we bunched them. Sean Potkay had a monster day with his three hits and two home runs and Nick Schneeberger helped us extend the lead. David (Napoli) gave us a tremendous performance and D.J. (Ponder) was great out of the bullpen. We really pitched and played well defensively...and bunched our hits together."
Napoli cruised through the first two innings of his first start of the year and pitched around a base hit and a walk in the third inning to keep the game scoreless. In the fourth inning, Tulane would power their way to an early lead when Blake Crohan and Sean Potkay each produced RBI hits. Brandon Boudreaux singled to start the frame and Jeremy Schaffer walked with one out, before Crohan's base hit plated the first run of the contest. Potkay followed with a home run to left field that lifted the Green Wave to a 4-0 advantage. It was the first home run of the season for the junior and he was just getting started at the plate.
The Shockers posted a single run in the sixth and seventh innings against Napoli to close the gap, but that was all they would get. Wichita State scored an unearned run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Dayne Parker and a leadoff walk came around to score on a two-out RBI single from Eric Harbutz in the seventh inning to end the evening for Napoli.
D.J. Ponder entered with two runners on base and two outs in the seventh and struck out Johnny Coy to end the threat and send the game to the eighth with TU leading 4-2.
After stranding Brennan Middleton on second base after a leadoff walk in the eighth, Tulane added to their lead in the ninth inning. Nick Schneeberger started the inning with a home run to left field, his second of the season, and Potkay hit his second home run of the game after Crohan walked to push the Olive and Blue out to a 7-2 edge.
Ponder walked two batters with one out in the ninth, but got a ground ball out and a strikeout to end the game and knot the series at one game apiece.
Napoli (2-0) allowed two runs - one earned - on four hits in six and two-thirds innings to collect his second win of the season. The left-hander struck out six and walked four while throwing 94 pitches. Ponder walked three batters in two and one-thirds innings, but struck out three to pick up his third save of the season.
At the plate, Potkay was three-for-four with two home runs, a double and five RBIs to lead the Green Wave attack. Crohan walked twice, scored a pair of runs and collected a hit and a RBI of his own, while Schneeberger hit his second home run of the season.
Tulane and Wichita State will play a rubber-game on Sunday, March 11 starting at 1:00 at Eck Stadium.
- Tulane leads all-time series 4-2 with Wichita State.
- Jeremy Schaffer extended his reached base streak to 15 games on Saturday.
- Sean Potkay posted the first multi-home run game for Tulane since May 21, 2010 (G. Wright, vs. UCF).
- Potkay hit his first two career home runs on Saturday.
- David Napoli made his first start since May 26, 2011 on Saturday.
- Tulane's bullpen stranded two more inherited runners on Saturday and have allowed just two of 20 to score this season.