March 20, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Greer Field at Turchin stadium has hosted some tense games this season and the #22-ranked Tulane baseball team capped another close victory with a 7-6 decision over New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. The Green Wave trailed 6-2 after two innings, but rallied to tie the game in the eight and win it on a Bowen Woodson sacrifice fly to center field in the ninth to claim the First NBC Bank Cup.
"You have to tip your hat to UNO," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "They really played well today... they had some good quality at-bats. But we pitched really well out of the bullpen. (Zizinia), Facundus and, of course, Pepitone. We played well defensively. Their starter kept us off-stride. Their lefty came in in the seventh and was really good. They had some good at-bats, and they played really well."
The Privateers (1-18) didn't waste any time on offense, opening the scoring with two runs in the top of the first inning against Tulane starting pitcher Robby Broach. The first three batters of the game reached base, with Nolan Church driving in an RBI with a single and Michael Tedesco plated the second run with a sacrifice fly.
Matt Ryan singled and stole second base, before Blake Crohan delivered the first Tulane (16-4) RBI of the afternoon with a single to right field. Crohan later scored on a Garrett Cannizaro double down the right field line and the contest was knotted at 2-2.
With the lead standing at 6-2 in favor of UNO, Andrew Garner came on and tossed three scoreless frames in his third appearance of the season. The freshman struck out one and allowed four hits before handing the ball to Drew Zizinia with two outs in the fifth.
A pair of runs in the fourth and a single run in the fifth cut the Privateer lead to just one run at 6-5. Blake Crohan delivered a bases loaded single to drive in two runs in the fourth and Bowen Woodson had a sacrifice fly to center field in the fifth.
The Tulane pitching staff held UNO scoreless the rest of the way and the stage was set for another late inning rally.
The leadoff man reached in each of the final two innings, with Woodson singling to start the eighth and Crohan walking to start the ninth. Woodson advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Briggs Barrios and came in to score on a Quinn Pippin single up the middle. Woodson came through with the with the big at bat in the ninth, as Crohan reached via walk, followed by a Schaffer double and an intentional walk to Cannizaro.
With the bases loaded and no one out, Nick Schneeberger drove a ball to right field, but it was not deep enough to score the run, for the first out of the inning. Woodson followed with a fly ball to center field and Crohan tagged and scored from third to give the Green Wave their best start since the 2005 season.
"There is definitely momentum," said Woodson. "Hopefully we can keep it going into conference and then we'll be fine. But I think we're going to keep rolling. Our pitching staff is still looking good. Our hitters are picking it up. Our defense is great. Everything is just starting to roll."
Garner and Zizinia combined with Alex Facundus and Nick Pepitone to hold the Privateers scoreless for the final 7.1 innings of the games. Zizinia fanned four batters in 2.1 innings of work, Facundus struck out one and walked one in an inning and Pepitone fanned a pair to pick up the win and improve to 3-0 this season.
Offensively, Crohan posted two hits, drove in three runs and scored a pair, while Woodson collected the team's only other multi-RBI performance with two. Pippin singled twice with an RBI and eight of the nine Tulane starters collected hits in the contest. Schaffer had a pair of hits in the ballgame, including his 15th double of the season, as the designated hitter.
Tulane will conclude their nine-game home stand with a midweek contest versus Nicholls State on Tuesday, March 22. The Green Wave and Colonels will take to the diamond for a 6:30 first pitch on the Turf at Turchin.