April 2, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The Tulane baseball team took advantage of an early error when Jeremy Schaffer hit a grand slam in the first inning of the Green Wave's 10-5 victory over East Carolina on Friday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium. Shaffer drove in five runs, while Blake Crohan and Rob Segedin each plated a pair of runs and Conrad Flynn picked up his third win of the season with 5.1 innings of work.
"Getting out to an early lead was very important," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "This ballpark plays so small and they have such a powerful offense, so a lead is never insurmountable here. It was also important that we play well defensively and we did that, even though we had the late error."
An error opened the door to a four-run first inning for the Green Wave against ECU left-hander Kevin Brandt. In the frame, Brandt retired the first two batters of the inning and a ground ball to shortstop looked to end the frame, but a low throw allowed Blake Crohan to reach and extended the inning. Rob Segedin and Brandon Boudreaux each walked to load the bases and Schaffer brought everyone around to score with his fifth home run of the season.
East Carolina scored single runs in the second and third innings, but the Olive and Blue tacked on three runs in their half of the third inning to take a 7-2 lead into the fourth. Segedin doubled for the 18th time this season in the third, driving in two RBI's, and eventually came around to score on a Schaffer sacrifice fly to right-center field.
Flynn allowed the two runs on seven hits - all singles - over 5.1 innings in his seventh start of the season. He fanned two and walked one as he improved to 3-2 overall on the season with the victory.
The Olive and Blue added to their lead in the eighth inning when the Pirates committed their third error of the contest. A walk to pinch hitter Karl Mundt, a fielding error that allowed Brennan Middleton to reach base and a walk to Nick Boullosa loaded the bases with two outs. Crohan then singled into left field, scoring two runners, and the Tulane led 10-4 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning.
East Carolina added one run in the ninth off of Claiborne, who collected his first save of the season with 3.2 innings of one-run relief. He allowed just an unearned run on three hits and struck out three batters in his 11th appearance of the season.
In the contest, the Green Wave scored six of their ten runs with two outs and collected ten hits for the first time in their last five games. Ryan extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games, while Crohan, Segedin and Schaffer all collected two hits on the night. Crohan and Segedin each collected a pair of RBI's and Schaffer drove in five in the series opener.
Tulane improves to 18-9 overall and are now 3-1 in Conference USA play this season. The Green Wave will take on the Pirates (17-10, 0-1 CUSA) in a double-header on Saturday, April 3 starting at Noon Central Time.