March 15, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - A seven run first inning was all that the Tulane baseball team needed against Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday evening inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, defeating in-state rival Southeastern Louisiana 7-3 to push their record to 12-4 on the season. The Green Wave sent 12 hitters to the plate in the first inning and four pitchers combined to hold the SLU offense at bay in the win.
"For us to score that many runs in an inning was good," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones "I thought it was a good win for us. We pitched well. David Napoli and Andrew Garner haven't really had the opportunity. I thought they both did a really good job for us because Southeastern can obviously swing the bat. We played so well defensively, especially late and that double play was really special. Alex Facundus gave us a dominant eighth and then he got an out in the ninth. Then we were in a save situation with those runners on, and you got one of the premier senior closers in the country (Nick Pepitone). He comes in and makes two pitches and the game is over."
Tulane put together their biggest scoring inning of the season to open the game and chased Southeastern Louisiana (12-5) starting pitcher Jordan Hymel after just one-third of an inning. The first three batters reached base in the bottom of the first, with Jeremy Schaffer driving in the first run with a single to center field. Matt Ryan doubled down the left field line to plate two more runs, Briggs Barrios drove in a run with a single and Bowen Woodson capped off the scoring with his first career home run, a three-run shot, to left field.
With the lead at 7-0, David Napoli worked into a jam in the third inning as he loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter. The sophomore walked in the Lions first run of the game, as Justin Boudreaux coaxed the bases loaded free pass, but Napoli rolled a double play ball to get out of the jam and hold Tulane's lead at 7-1.
Napoli threw five innings in his first career start and allowed one run on five hits. The left-hander walked four and fanned four batters to collect his first win on the mound for the Olive and Blue. Andrew Garner allowed two runs - just one earned - in two innings of relief work and Alex Facundus came on to throw a scoreless eighth and record the first out of the ninth inning, before hitting a batter and allowing a single.
"I felt like my best inning was probably the fifth," sophomore David Napoli said. "Early on I just couldn't command it, but the defense (was great) behind me. In the first inning, Bowen made that diving catch, which was just a big-time play and momentum-builder. It was nice to have the defense behind me and the offense scoring seven in the first inning was nice."
With two runners on base and just one out in the inning, Nick Pepitone came on to relieve Facundus. The Katy, Texas native needed only two pitches to post his eighth save of the season, getting a double play ball off the bat of Jeff Harkensee to sew up the victory.
At the plate, Woodson and Ryan each posted two hits in the contest and collected multiple RBI's on the night. Woodson posted his first multi-RBI game with three and Ryan plated a pair of runs in the opening frame. Eight of the nine Tulane starters collected hits in the game, with Garrett Cannizaro taking an 0-for-4 at the plate to halt his eight-game hitting streak.
The Green Wave will host Alcorn State on Wednesday, March 16 on the Turf at Turchin, with the first pitch scheduled for a 6:30 start.