Matt Ryan Moved His Hitting Streak to Eight Games on Friday at Southern Miss
March 25, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The offenses were nearly even, with the #20 Tulane baseball team posting ten hits for the seventh straight game and limiting Southern Miss to just 11 hits, but 11 free bases eventually downed the Green Wave in their 16-4 loss at Pete Taylor Park on Friday (March 25) evening.
"When you don't pitch as well as you need to, especially against an outstanding offensive ball club like Southern Miss, it is hard for anything else to look positive," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We did swing the bats better tonight, but we played poor defensively, compared to what we normally do. We made three errors, but 11 free passes. And against a good offensive club like Southern Miss, with that many free passes it is hard to win."
The Green Wave (17-5, 0-1 C-USA) looked primed to grab the momentum early when they took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning versus USM starting pitcher Todd McInnis. A one-out single from Bowen Woodson was followed by a two-out walk to Brennan Middleton and Nick Boullosa singled to right field to plate the game's opening run.
That was the only lead that Tulane would enjoy, as Southern Miss (17-4, 1-0 C-USA) answered with a run of their own in the second inning against Conrad Flynn and then tack on three more in the third. Flynn lasted just 2.2 innings in the start and surrendered four runs on five hits, while walking three batters in a game for the first time in his career. The senior falls to 2-3 overall on the year in six starts.
Drew Zizinia came on in the third inning with the bases loaded and coaxed a flyout from Chase Fowler to limit the damage and then retired the side in order in the fourth, however the senior couldn't escape the fifth inning. A pair of walks started things off and an error extended the inning, which made two of the four runs that scored unearned.
In the sixth, Andrew Garner took the mound and the freshman retired the side in order, but suffered a similar fate to Zizinia in his second inning of work.
A Southern Miss error led to the second Tulane run of the ball game in the seventh, with Blake Crohan reaching on a fielding error by the third baseman with one out. Jeremy Schaffer walked and Garrett Cannizaro was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Nick Schneeberger had a sacrifice fly to right field to score Crohan, but that was all the damage the Green Wave could do.
Garner came out for the seventh and hit a batter and walked one before Fowler singled to score the first run of the frame. A sacrifice fly accounted for the first out from the fourth hitter of the inning before a walk and a B.A. Vollmuth single made the score made the score 11-2. Adam Doleac doubled in two more runs and a fielding error led to the sixth run of the inning and the Golden Eagles led 14-4 after seven innings.
Schaffer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth, but Southern Miss added two more runs against Greg Miller in the eighth to cap their scoring at 16 runs.
Cody Robinson hit a solo home run in a pinch hit at bat in the ninth, but Tulane stranded runners on base in seven of the nine frames and USM grabbed the series opener by a final tally of 16-4.
In the game, Matt Ryan, Schaffer and Schneeberger all posted hits to extend their respective hitting streaks to eight games, while Woodson has now hit in five straight with a second inning single. It is the seventh straight game that Tulane has posted 10-plus hits, but McInnis pitched out of jams in nearly every inning to improve to 5-1 overall on the season.
Tulane and Southern Miss will meet again on Saturday, March 26 at 2:00 in Hattiesburg in the second game of their three game set.