March 30, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - With a thin pitching staff, the Tulane baseball team dropped a 6-1 decision on Wednesday evening to FIU on the turf inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Olive and Blue collected eight hits, but the Panthers scored six times and benefitted from three Tulane errors in contest.
"We made three errors and we've scored one run in the last two ball games. We knew we were going to have to piece it together on the mound (tonight), but you can't feel sorry for yourself because we've had some bad breaks. We knew we were going to have to keep the game close or score a lot of runs, but it wasn't an easy night to hit because the ball wasn't carrying very well ...we hit a couple balls at them hard, but they had a couple balls at us hard. That's just baseball."
The Green Wave (18-7, 1-2 C-USA) pitching staff worked in and out of trouble for the first four innings before the Panthers loaded the bases in the fifth versus David Napoli. Napoli, the third Tulane pitcher of the evening, issued a one-out walk, was victim to a dropped fly ball in left field and walked Garrett Wittles to load the bases. Rudy Flores followed with an RBI single and, after D.J. Ponder replaced Napoli, Mike Martinez plated a run on a ground out. Ponder struck out the final batter of the inning and a pair of unearned runs gave FIU a 2-0 lead.
Tulane threatened against Panthers starter Kyle Fitzpatrick as they loaded the bases with two outs. After Fitzpatrick retired the first two batters, Brennan Middleton singled, Nick Boullosa reached via base hit and Matt Ryan was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call. Fitzpatrick, however, got Jeremy Schaffer on a swinging third strike to hold the FIU lead at 2-0.
With the FIU lead sitting at 3-1, the Panthers added a run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth against Alex Facundus, with only one of them being earned, to extend their lead to 6-1.
Napoli (1-1) took the loss on the mound, allowing two unearned runs on one hit in 1.1 innings of work. He walked two and struck out two in his sixth appearance of the season. Drew Zizinia got the start and threw 1.1 scoreless frames, Andrew Garner tossed 1.2 scoreless innings and Greg Miller closed things out with a scoreless 1.1 innings. Ponder allowed one unearned run in 1.2 innings and Facundus rounded out the mound work with three runs - only one earned - in 1.2 innings of work.
Boullosa and Blake Crohan each posted two hits on the night, while Garrett Cannizaro, Brennan Middleton, Nick Schneeberger and Woodson all collected hits in the ballgame, while Pippin accounted for the only RBI.
The Green Wave will start a weekend series Houston (12-14, 0-0 C-USA) on Friday, April 1 at 6:30, with the Cougars coming to town for a three-game Conference USA series.