Baseball Drops Close One to Southeastern Louisiana, 7-4

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Senior Garrett Cannizaro went 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs against Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday
Senior Garrett Cannizaro went 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs against Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday

March 12, 2013

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HAMMOND, La. - Tulane allowed five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday in Hammond, La., allowing the Lions to come back from two down to defeat the Green Wave, 7-4, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Three pitchers pitched 3.0 innings each for the Lions (11-5), with the middle pitcher, Kaleb Manuel, earning his first win of the season, striking out four and walking only one.

"The game got away from us in the sixth inning," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "Randy (LeBlanc) pitched as well as he could, even with the command issues he had early on. Because of our depleted bullpen, we couldn't do what we wanted to."

Tulane (9-9) struck first when leadoff batter senior Brennan Middleton laced a double into right field for the first hit of the game. He came home on another first-inning double, this one from senior Sean Potkay.

In the next inning, senior Garrett Cannizaro notched a one-out single before freshman Tim Yandel walked. Junior Bowen Woodson - who had a huge day at the plate - brought both home on a double to left-center, allowing Tulane to take an early, 3-0 lead.

The Lions chiseled away at the lead in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Jameson Fisher led the inning off with a triple that reached the wall in right center field. When third baseman Jesse Buratt grounded out to shortstop during the next at-bat, Fisher came home to score the Lions' first run of the game. Despite putting two on with two outs, both Lions' base runners were left stranded as redshirt sophomore Randy LeBlanc - who got the start for the Green Wave tonight - got shortstop Ben Hernandez to line out to left field to end the frame.

Southeastern Louisiana added another run in the bottom of the third when leadoff hitter Ladd Rhodes singled to left field, advancing to second on a groundout by center fielder Harry Slade. First baseman Aaron Haag then walked before Fisher then hit a dribbler that was scooped up by LeBlanc, who tagged Fisher out along the first base line. That play moved Rhodes to third. Before LeBlanc delivered his next pitch, Rhodes broke for home. Catching him out of the corner of his eye, LeBlanc broke his windup to make a move for home, and was ultimately charged with a balk that scored Rhodes and moved Haag to third. Buratt grounded out to strand Haag at third base.

With just a one run lead, Tulane scored again in the sixth when Woodson came through in the clutch for the second time on the day. After Cannizaro - who notched a single to reach base - moved to second on a balk from Manuel, Woodson launched a two-out single to left field that brought Cannizaro home for the fourth run of the game.

Unfortunately, LeBlanc allowed back-to-back singles to Buratt and catcher Sam Roberson to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Left fielder Gabe Woods sacrificed the runners to second and third, recording the first out of the inning. Brett Hoffman sent a rocket towards left field, but Middleton left his feet to snag the line drive, saving the runs from leaving their bags. However, LeBlanc walked Hernandez to load the bases before Rhodes sent another shot towards shortstop. Middleton made a diving stop of the grounder to allow only one run to score, but LeBlanc gave up a two-run single to Slade in the next at-bat that gave Southeastern Louisiana the lead. Kyle McKenzie replaced LeBlanc on the mound, and he immediately gave up a single into right center from Haag - just over the outreached glove of Woodson - that scored Rhodes and moved Slade to third base. Slade came home on a wild pitch delivered by McKenzie for Southeastern Louisiana's fifth run of the inning.

"Bowen almost made that catch in right center," added Jones. "We had a couple of chances to get out of that inning, but we let it get away from us."

LeBlanc (0-2) went 5.2 innings, allowing nine hits, seven runs and striking out one.

While the Greenies collected nine hits on the evening, none came after the sixth inning, as Mason Klotz was brought in for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings for Southeastern Louisiana. He struck out six Green Wave batters in 3.0 innings, walking only one. He earned his first save of the season.

Kyle Cedotal started for the Lions, allowing three runs in three innings, while striking out three and walking two.

Woodson went 2-for-4 at the plate, adding three RBI, and Cannizaro went 2-for-2 with two runs and two walks. Middleton and junior Andrew Garner also collected two hits apiece, and Middleton added a run. Yandel was 0-for-1 with a walk, a run and a sacrifice hit while also reaching on a catcher's interference call.

Both squads will play again tomorrow evening at 6:30pm CST at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The game will be broadcast on 106.1 The Ticket until the start of the men's basketball game, and will wrap up on All Access at TulaneGreenWave.com, if needed.

You can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.