April 6, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - An error by the Tulane infield in the bottom of the fourth allowed Southern Miss to take the lead, and Tulane could not come back, losing game two in the series by a score of 6-2, at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Saturday afternoon.
With the score tied in the bottom of the fourth, Southern Miss (12-17, 4-4) put themselves in good position to retake the lead on back-to-back singles from Isaac Rodriguez and Tim Lynch off Tulane (16-17, 4-4) starting pitcher Alex Byo. After striking out Chase Fowler for the first out of the inning, Byo (2-4) was able to induce a ground ball up the middle from Blake Brown that could have been a routine inning-ending double play. However, Tulane senior Sean Potkay was overthrown at first after the Green Wave infield got Lynch out at second. The overthrow allowed Rodriguez to score, and gave Southern Miss the lead. To make matters worse, with the next at-bat, Southern Miss' Bradley Roney hit a two-run home run over the left field wall. Southern Miss never looked back.
"I thought Alex pitched extremely well," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "Southern Miss took advantage of one defensive breakdown, and that was the ballgame. Alex gave us a great performance. We just have to try and fight to win the series tomorrow."
Southern Miss' Andrew Pierce pitched very well for the Golden Eagles, going eight innings and striking out seven. Pierce (6-1) allowed six hits on the day, three of which were by freshman Richard Carthon.
"(Andrew) Pierce had great stuff today," added Jones. "He is one of the best we've seen. Our guys fought, but he had great stuff. If you can get into their bullpen, you have a chance, but we just couldn't."
Carthon led the game off with a single to center field for the second straight game, and he was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Brennan Middleton. Senior Brandon Boudreaux joined Carthon on the base paths when Southern Miss' starter Andrew Pierce walked him with two outs. But a very questionable strikeout call on senior Potkay from home plate umpire Perry Costello left both runners stranded.
Byo walked the leadoff batter Connor Barron before allowing a single through the right side to the next batter, Travis Creel. Southern Miss' Mason Robbins hit a grounder to shortstop that should have been a double play, but first base umpire Mark McDonald called Robbins safe after the relay throw from second. However, during Rodriguez's at bat, a quick grounder was sent to third base that was turned into a double play to get Byo out of the inning, and stranding Barron at third base.
The Golden Eagles crossed the plate first in the bottom of the second inning after Byo allowed a double down the left field line to Brown. Roney brought him home on a single that just got under the glove of a diving Potkay at first base.
The Greenies got into scoring position in the third when Carthon swiped second base after reaching on a single that took a bad hop in front of Southern Miss' Brown at first base. However, with two outs, Southern Miss' left fielder Breck Kline made a diving catch of a line drive by senior Blake Crohan to end the inning.
Carthon made a death-defying catch of his own in left field to rob Robbins of a base hit when he dived head first towards the infield on a flare hit by the Southern Miss batter.
Boudreaux kicked things off in the fourth with a single under the first baseman's mitt. He reached second base when Pierce dealt his first wild pitch of the season. He moved to third on a deep fly ball to left center by Potkay, and a high chopper over third base from senior Garrett Cannizaro brought Boudreaux home to tie things up at one run each.
After allowing the three runs in the fourth, Byo was able to retire the next ten batters through the bottom of the seventh, allowing Tulane to stay in the game. But Pierce was equally as good, allowing only a single to Carthon in the fifth inning and a single to Potkay in the sixth. Following the Potkay single, he retired seven straight Green Wave batters.
Byo stayed on the mound to start the bottom of the eighth, and he allowed a single to Barron, who subsequently stole second base. Creel put Barron on third base on a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Byo intentionally walked Robbins to put runners on the corners, and he stole second base. Rodriguez sent a bloop single over the left side of the infield, scoring Barron to put Southern Miss up 5-1. Byo was relieved by Tucker Oakley, who struck out Lynch on three straight pitches. A passed ball allowed Robbins to score the sixth run of the contest for the Golden Eagles.
Pierce was relieved by Cody Livingston in the top of the ninth, but he allowed two walks to open the frame to Boudreaux and Potkay, and he was yanked in favor of Daniel Wineski. Garner took his base after getting hit on the first pitch from Wineski to load the bases. Wineski struck Cannizaro out with the count full. Junior Bowen Woodson worked the count full before reaching on a fielder's choice that scored Boudreaux from third. However, Max Goodman grounded out to Wineski to end the contest.
Carthon went 3-for-4 on the day while Boudreaux, Potkay and Cannizaro all added a hit of their own. Boudreaux scored the only two runs of the game for the Green Wave.
The rubber match of the series will be held at 1pm CT in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Sunday. Senior David Napoli will take the mound for the Green Wave, while Conor Fisk will pitch for Southern Miss. The game will be broadcast on 88.3 FM, and live stats will be available through TulaneGreenWave.com.
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