March 20, 2009
NEW ORLEANS- The Tulane baseball club got back in the win column Friday night behind a solid pitching performance from sophomore Conrad Flynn, who threw a complete game shutout, striking out four and issuing no bases on balls. Flynn (2-2) retired 30 Northern Colorado hitters, inducing 12 ground ball outs in the contest with the support of his infielders, who played solid defense behind him.
"I hadn’t pitched to my capabilities and supported my team on the mound with my best," Flynn said. "I just wanted to work ahead and throw strikes tonight. I had a different mentality. I was going to go out and not nibble but go after people and force contact."
Junior shortstop Josh Prince (3-3, two runs) made a grab deep in the 5.5 hole to gun down Hunter Nolen and rob him of a base hit, while second baseman Seth Henry followed suit, nabbing a ground ball up the middle and completing the throw across his body to get Phil Santucci out at first. Evan Mistich, who got his second start at the hot corner, also turned in a fine defensive performance behind Flynn.
"We’re a better defensive club than we have been showing and tonight we made all the routines and made some tough plays too," head coach Rick Jones said.
The Wave, now 12-9, scored a pair in the third inning and another two in the fourth and also had a record-setting night on the bases. With his four stolen base-performance, Prince tied the Tulane single-game stolen base record. Previously held by four former Tulane lettermen, the record was last tied on April 1, 2003 by Tony Giarratano against University of New Orleans at home.
"Coach gave me the green light," Prince said. "We have times on the pitchers and catchers and if they aren’t in a certain time range, I can steal it. It happened that way tonight and I was able to steal the bases."
Tulane jumped ahead early, with Prince leading off the third inning and taking the Cameron Tallman 1-0 offering through the left side for a single. Prince quickly picked up his first stolen base of the night before Nick Boullosa was hit by a pitch, bringing Scott Powell (1-1, 2 BB) up to bat. The pair quickly moved up a bag, giving Prince his second stolen base of the night and putting runners at second and third for Powell, who notched the RBI on a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Prince. Henry picked up the second RBI of the inning, sending Boullosa across the pay station on a ground ball to the third baseman Santucci and giving the Wave the 2-0 lead.
The Wave picked up two additional runs in the following frame, a fourth inning effort that got started with a Steve Mortiz double to left field. Mistich followed with a single up the middle, scoring Moritz and increasing the Tulane lead, 3-0. With two outs, Prince stepped into the box again, this time working his way on base by wearing Tallman’s pitch. He promptly stole second while Boullosa and Powell followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases for Henry. Prince scored the fourth and final run of the ballgame on a pass ball that gave Tulane the 4-0 advantage along with the win.
The Wave will be back in action Saturday afternoon for game two of the series, a 2PM start at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.