March 31, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The final score was a little closer than the game actually played, as the Tulane baseball team powered their way to a 13-7 victory over Memphis on Saturday afternoon at FedExPark. David Napoli allowed one run over eight innings and the Green Wave offense led 13-1 entering the ninth before the Tigers scored six runs against three different TU pitchers to close the finale gap just six runs at 13-7.
"David (Napoli) set the tone for us today," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "He managed the strike zone, was very aggressive and had three plus pitches again today. When you have that kind of pitching performance you get a chance to relax at the plate at little bit and just have good at bats. We jumped out to the early lead on the (Jeremy) Schaffer home run and Nick (Schneeberger) had a good at bat to keep the third inning alive and Frank (Florio) got into one to extend our lead after they had tied it up."
Jeremy Schaffer opened the scoring in the first inning when he sent a towering shot over the left field fence for his 38th career home run. The senior moved into a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Michael Aubrey and gave his team a 1-0 advantage in the early going.
The Tigers manufactured a run against Napoli in the second inning, with a walk and two base hits, to tie the game at 1-1, but the left-hander wouldn't allow a runner to reach third base the rest of the game.
Napoli would retire the side in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, while facing only four batters in the third, seventh and eighth to cruise through his outing. He allowed just the one run on six hits, fanned six batters and walked only two to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Tulane used an RBI single from Nick Schneeberger to recapture the lead in the third inning and with two runners on base and two outs, Frank Florio hit his second home run of the season down the right field line to make it 4-1 in favor of the visitors.
In the eighth inning, Tulane sent ten batters to the plate - marking the ninth time this season they have batted around - and scored six times against two Memphis relievers. Garrett Cannizaro and Jeremy Schaffer each delivered bases loaded RBI singles and Schneeberger followed with a two-RBI double to left-center field. Briggs Barrios started the inning with a walk and capped the scoring in the frame with a two-RBI base knock to left field, stretching the lead to 11-1.
After Napoli threw his sixth straight scoreless inning to end his outing, Schaffer and Schneeberger each added RBIs in the ninth. Schaffer watched another of his towering drive get caught by Ford Wilson as he crashed into the wall, but Bowen Woodson tagged and scored from third base. Schneeberger followed with a single to left field, scoring Boudreaux and making it a 13-1 Tulane lead.
Memphis would have their own big inning in the ninth, scoring six runs against Jordan Gross and Tyler Mapes, before Alex Facundus would get a double play ball and a line out to Barrios in center field to close the game.
Schneeberger led the Green Wave at the plate by going four-for-six with two runs scored and four RBIs. It was the 16th multi-hit game of the season for the senior and his seventh multi-RBI contest of the year. Florio drove in three RBIs to post his fifth multi-RBI game of the year, while Schaffer had three runs batted in and Barrios added a pair. Brennan Middleton collected three hits, while Cannizaro extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the eighth. Barrios walked three times and had a base hit, while Woodson walked twice and scored three runs.
Tulane out-hit Memphis 14-9 on the afternoon and capitalized on six walks and three hit batters.
Tulane and Memphis will conclude their Conference USA series on Sunday, April 1 with a 1:00 first pitch at FedExPark. You can hear the entire contest live on the flagship radio station for the Green Wave, AM690 WIST, or by logging onto the Tulane All-Access Channel.
- Tulane leads the all-time series 46-36.
- Tulane is now 16-0 this season when out-hitting their opponents.
- The two home runs in the game give the Green Wave 19 for the season, matching their total from all of last season.
- Tulane sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth inning, marking the ninth time in 2012 that 9-plus hitters hit during the same inning.
- Four players posted multiple hits in Saturday's contest, marking the 13th time this season that the Green Wave has had four or more players with multiple hits.
- David Napoli struck out six and threw eight innings, marking the second straight start he has thrown eight-plus innings.
- Four Tulane pitches allowed nine hits and only one of those went for extra bases. - Nick Schneeberger has reached base safely in each of the last ten games.
- Schneeberger collected his team-best 17th multi-hit game of the year and is tied for the team lead with seven multi-RBI games.
- Jeremy Schaffer hit his 38th career home run on Saturday, tying him for eighth on the TU all-time list with Michael Aubrey.
- Schaffer posted his seventh multi-RBI game of the season on Saturday, tying him for the team lead.