Late Rally Needed in 8-7 Win Over Brown

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Kyle McKenzie Threw Four Innings on Friday Versus Brown
Kyle McKenzie Threw Four Innings on Friday Versus Brown

March 16, 2012

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Junior T. Oakley Postgame Comments (Video) | Sophomore K. McKenzie Postgame Comments (Video)

Junior G. Cannizaro Postgame Comments (Video)

NEW ORLEANS - The outcome looked bleak for the Tulane baseball team on Friday (March 16) evening inside the gates of Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, as the Green Wave trailed 5-1 entering the sixth inning, but a five run sixth and another late rally in the ninth inning gave them an 8-7 victory over Brown to open the three game series. Each team had 12 hits, but Tulane five hit batters and nine walks, the last a walk-off RBI base on balls to Tucker Oakley, to snap their two-game losing streak.

"We won a ballgame that looked really tough," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I don't care who or where or when, we needed a win. The key now tis to build on it, not rest on it. We need to see how we build on it tomorrow."

The Green Wave got a run in the first inning when Garrett Cannizaro reached on an error with one out and later scored on a bases loaded walk to Oakley. That would be a precursor of things to come, but it wasn't easy for Tulane (12-6).

Brown (0-5) scored single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings, while plated two runs in the third to build a 5-1 lead. Will Marcal hit a solo home run in the second, while Mike DiBiase and Cody Slaughter both drove in runs in the third. The Bears added an unearned run in the fourth - the final inning for Tulane starting pitcher Randy LeBlanc - and then tallied their fifth run of the game on a double play ball that scored DiBiase after a leadoff double.



LeBlanc threw four innings and allowed four runs - three earned - on eight hits. The redshirt-freshman walked one and struck out two in the no decision. Kyle McKenzie entered the game in the fifth inning and held the Bears offense in check after allowing the run in the fifth.

Tulane would strike with most of their offense in the sixth inning when they sent ten batters to the plate and scored five runs against Brown starting pitcher Heath Mayo. With two outs and runners on the corners, Tulane put six straight runners on base to grab the momentum back. A bases loaded double by Cannizaro got things started and Jeremy Schaffer followed with a double of his own to knot things at 5-5. Mayo was replaced by Taylor Wright and walked Nick Schneeberger before Sean Potkay delivered the go-ahead RBI single.

"The key for us tonight was Kyle (McKenzie)," said Jones. "He was throwing in the 90's with a really good breaking ball. He went after them and their swings looked a lot different after he entered the game."

McKenzie retired the side in order in the sixth and didn't face more than four batters in any inning. He came for the ninth inning and walked the first batter with a 6-5 lead. Alex Facundus entered and struck out the next two batters, but allowed a walk and back-to-back singles, the last to Marcal that plated a pair of runs, and Brown was back in the lead at 7-6.

Bears relief pitcher Chris Smith retired Brennan Middleton to start the ninth, but back-to-back singles from Boudreaux and Cannizaro go the rally started. Schaffer followed with a base hit of his own to plate Boudreaux and knot things at seven apiece. After a Nick Schneeberger single loaded the bases, Smith coaxed a shallow flyball to right field off the bat of Potkay. Oakley stood in and quickly worked the count to 3-0, after two straight strikes, the junior took ball four to force in the game winning run.

Facundus picked up his third win of the season with an inning of work and three strikeouts. The sophomore allowed one run on two hits to improve to 3-1 on the year.

Schaffer led the way with three hits, while Boudreaux, Cannizaro and Potkay each ended the night with a pair of hits. Cannizaro drove in three RBIs, Schaffer added two and Oakley forced two runs across the plate with a pair of walks. Schneeberger was on base four times on the evening - three walks and a single - and Oakley reached base in five of his six plate appearances, walking twice, being hit by two pitches and singling.

The Green Wave will continue their series against Brown on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00, before closing out the series on Sunday, March 18 starting at 11:00 a.m.

- This was the first meeting between the two schools in program history.
- Brandon Boudreaux extended his hitting streak to five games and posted his sixth multi-hit game of the season.
- Tucker Oakley posted his first career multi-RBI game and his first career game-winning RBI at Tulane.
- Garrett Cannizaro posted his 15 career multi-RBI game with three RBIs on Friday.
- Jeremy Schaffer drove in two runs for his 43rd career multi-RBI game.
- Tulane posted its first win of the season when trailing after eight innings (1-6)
- Tulane tied in hits for the sixth time in 2012.