Sophomore David Napoli Tossed Five Innings and Allowed One Run Versus Nicholls State
March 22, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - It has become a belief among the faithful inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium that this year's edition of the Tulane baseball team is going to find a way to win the ballgame and on Tuesday night they did just that in a 5-1 victory over Nicholls State. The Green Wave scored five runs in their final two at-bats and out-hit the Colonels 12-5, extending their winning streak to seven games.
"I thought we really had some good at-bats tonight, but we didn't have much to show for it," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I thought we swung the bats well. We had 12 hits and we hit some (others) hard. Give credit, their lefty really did a good job. He was quick and he pounded the zone. I thought we swung the bat better than what it showed. Fortunately David Napoli really was good tonight. Drew Zizinia was really good as was the back end with Facundus and Pep."
David Napoli tossed five stellar innings for Tulane (17-4) in his second start of the season, as he struck out a career-high eight batters. He allowed just three hits, with the final hit accounting for the first run of the contest in the fifth.
In the fifth, Sco Moseley singled to start things and moved to second on a ground out. After Moseley stole third base, Napoli struck out a batter for the second out of the inning and then fielded a chopper between the pitcher's mound and the first base bag from the next hitter and dove towards the bag, but Cody Dufrene beat it out and Nicholls State (7-12) took a 1-0 lead.
The late inning heroics continued as the Olive and Blue struck for three runs in the seventh to take the lead. Bowen Woodson singled to center field and Frank Florio walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Brennan Middleton then hit a ball up the middle and the Colonels shortstop made a backhanded grab and threw to third to attempt to erase the lead runner, but the throw was wild and Woodson came around to score the game tying run. Quinn Pippin followed with a single to plate Nick DiMaggio - who pinch ran for Florio - and Matt Ryan's base hit scored Middleton to push the lead to 3-1.
Jeremy Schaffer led off the eighth inning with a double to left center field, later scoring on a sacrifice fly from Nick Schneeberger, and Woodson singled and stole second with two outs in the inning. Another Nicholls State error allowed Woodson to score, when second baseman Phillip Lyons misplayed a grounder which allowed Brandon Boudreaux to reach and Woodson to cross home plate to make it a 5-1 game.
Zizinia (1-0) tossed two innings of scoreless relief work, allowing just one hit, with a strikeout to earn his first win of the season. Alex Facundus struck out one batter in a perfect eighth inning and Nick Pepitone came on and retired three of the four batters he faced to preserve the 17th win of the season for the Green Wave.
"We just keep grinding it out is all I can say," said Woodson. "At-bat after at-bat, it doesn't' matter what the scores is, you just have to keep working and keep trying to push runs across whenever."
Offensively, Woodson led the way with a perfect four-for-four day at the plate with a pair of runs scored, while three other Green Wave batters posted two hits on the night. Pippin, Ryan and Schaffer each collected two hits, with Schaffer posting his NCAA leading 16th double of the year.
The Green Wave will take to the road for the first time since March 6 as they travel to Southern Miss to open Conference USA play over the weekend. The three-game series with the Golden Eagles will kick off in Hattiesburg, Miss. on Friday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m.