April 14, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- After taking the opening game of the series by a score of 13-6 the Tulane baseball team couldn't complete the double-header sweep with a 4-3 setback in game two on Saturday (April 14) at Young Memorial Field against UAB. Tulane took control of the first game from the opening batter, but fell behind early and couldn't get the clutch hit late to split the first two games of the Conference USA series.
Brandon Boudreaux opened the scoring in the first game - which started on Friday night - as he hit his second career leadoff home run to give Tulane (24-10, 4-3 C-USA) a 1-0 in the early going. The Green Wave began to add to their lead with four more runs in the third inning before the stadium lights went out and forced the postponement of the contest to Saturday. Jeremy Schaffer opened the scoring in the third with a RBI double, Frank Florio followed with a two-RBI single and Blake Crohan's first triple plated the fourth run of the inning before the outage stopped the game.
When the game resumed on Saturday, Brennan Middleton worked a two-out walk and Bowen Woodson slapped a single through the right side of the infield to score the sixth run of the game. UAB would get right back in the game versus Tulane starting pitcher Andrew Reeves, who threw 28 pitches on Friday night and came back to pitch on Saturday. After retiring the first two Blazer batters, Reeves surrendered a double and a walk, before Patrick Palmeiro delivered the first RBI. Ryan Ussery then ended the outing for the junior right-hander with a three-run home run to left field.
Boudreaux added his second home run of the game with one out in the seventh to stretch the lead to 12-4, but UAB (21-15, 4-7 C-USA) would cut into that lead with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh. After the Blazers loaded the bases with no out, Mapes would surrender a run on a double play and Jeff Schalk delievered an RBI single to end the outing for Mapes.
The junior threw four innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He walked one, hit one batter and fanned three to pick up his first win in the Olive and Blue. Alex Facundus entered the game and got the final out of the seventh and finished out the game on the mound. The sophomore tossed two and one-thirds scoreless innings with one hits and two walks allowed.
Tulane churned out 19 hits to tie their season-high and hit four home runs, their most in one game this season, with eight of nine starters collecting hits in the game. All nine starters reached base and seven players drove in RBIs in the series opener. Jeremy Schaffer collected four hits in a game for the fourth time in his career, adding three RBIs, while Boudreaux and Crohan each added three hits.
In game two, the two teams traded three run innings in the early going, before the pitching took over for the remainder of the game. Ussery led off the second inning with a home run and three walks followed to load the bases. A doubled play pushed the second run of the frame across the plate and a wild pitch allowed the third run to score to make it 3-0 in favor of the Blazers.
The longball got the Green Wave right back into the game as Schaffer walked and scored from first on a Potkay double to right-center field. Florio followed that with his fourth home run of the season to right field and the game was tied at 3-3.
From then on, Tulane's David Napoli and UAB's Ben Bullard didn't allow many scoring opportunities. Bullard threw six complete innings and allowed the three runs on six hits, while Napoli tossed five and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs on five hits with seven walks and six strikeouts.
That fourth run proved to be the difference in the game as the junior walked the first batter of the sixth, retired the next two and walked another batter. He was relieved by D.J. Ponder and Ivan DeJesus came through with a single to left field to give the Blazers the lead.
Tulane would load the bases in the ninth with two outs, but Ryan Nance would come on to get the final out of the game for his sixth save of the season.
The rubber game between Tulane and the UAB will start at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 15 and the Green Wave will look to claim their second Conference USA series win on the road.
- Tulane leads the all-time series 39-15.
- Brandon Boudreaux led off the game with a home run for the second time in his career (Nicholls State, 4/6/2010)
- Boudreaux posted the first two-home run game in his career in the opening game versus UAB.
- Sean Potkay extended his reached base streak to 14 games with hits in both games.
- Blake Crohan collected his first career triple on Friday night at UAB.
- Jeremy Schaffer moved into 20th on the Conference USA career home run charts with his 40th career homer run in the opener at UAB.