April 16, 2013
MONROE, La. - Redshirt sophomore Randy LeBlanc pitched 7.0 superb innings, striking out a season-high six batters, and junior Bowen Woodson made amazing play after amazing play in the infield as the Green Wave defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 5-2, at Warhawk Field on Tuesday afternoon.
LeBlanc - who earned his first win of the season against Louisiana-Lafayette last Tuesday - allowed only five hits to ULM (14-23) batters, while walking only two. The hit total could have been higher had it not been for Woodson at second base, who made three unbelievable plays in the field on hard hit balls for Tulane (19-20).
"That was the best outing of Randy LeBlanc's career, in my opinion," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "He had a special one going against Ole Miss before he got injured. Today was a special outing because the wind was blowing out in this short park. He kept the ball in the park with his fastball early, and he got his breaking ball and his changeup working later."
Woodson, who wasn't feeling well prior to the game, got the start at second base. Fortunately, it was a move that Jones would not regret.
"Bowen Woodson played `big league' second base today," added Jones. "He made three major league plays that saved us."
Tulane got their offense going early by putting three runs on the board in the top of the first. Freshman Richard Carthon walked to lead off the contest, and he eventually stole second base for his eighth swipe of the season. With two outs, senior Sean Potkay reached first on his team-leading 21st walk of the year. Senior Garrett Cannizaro ripped his eighth double of the season down the left field line to score both runners, despite the protests from left fielder Chris Dudley that the ball got caught up in some tarp in foul territory. Senior Tucker Oakley added a double of his own off the left center field wall to score Cannizaro, giving Tulane a 3-0 lead out of the top of the first.
LeBlanc (2-2) retired the first two Warhawks batters on just a handful of pitches before allowing a single to Taylor Abdalla, However, he induced a pop fly to Dalton Herrington on the very next pitch to get out of the inning.
After walking freshman Tim Yandel to open the second inning, ULM starter Devon Malone was pulled from the game and replaced with Shelby Aulds - who earned both wins during the series against Tulane last year. Yandel was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Cameron Burns, but was put out by the third baseman after getting caught in a run down between second and third on a fielder's choice from Carthon. However, Carthon went to second on his second stolen base of the game, but he was left stranded.
LeBlanc mimicked his first inning, getting the first two outs very quickly, but then walked Kodie Tidwell. With two outs, Dalton Todd attempted to catch Burns and LeBlanc off guard by attempting a bunt, but Burns was able to throw him out at first for the final out of the frame.
Cannizaro reached first base after getting hit by Aulds with two outs in the top of the third. Oakley notched his second hit of the game on a single through the left side to put Cannizaro at second base. With Woodson at the plate, Cannizaro was caught stealing third base, allowing Aulds to escape the inning with no further damage done.
LeBlanc retired the Warhawks in order in the bottom of the third, and it appeared that Aulds would match him in the top of the fourth. But, with two outs, Burns laced a single into right field. During the next at-bat, Carthon sent a shot to left field that looked as if it might leave the park, but instead was caught by Dudley at the warning track.
As well as he pitched last week against the ULL Ragin' Cajuns, LeBlanc was better against ULM, as he retired the order in the bottom of the fourth. Aulds was pulled to start the fifth and replaced by Jared Dye, who walked senior Brandon Boudreaux with one out in the same frame. Boudreaux advanced to second on a passed ball by Dye. However, he was stuck there as Potkay struck out looking, and Cannizaro grounded out to third.
During the first at-bat during the bottom of the fifth, LeBlanc allowed his second home run of the season to Brandon Alexander, bringing the score to 3-1. It was Alexander's first home run of the year. LeBlanc didn't let it faze him, as he struck out Tidwell and pinch hitter Justin Stawychny before getting Trent Lucas to lift a pop fly to right field for the third and final out.
Dye retired the Greenies in order in the top of the sixth. LeBlanc allowed just the third hit of the game at that point to Corben Green with one out on a single to center field. Abdalla sent a shot down the right field line that was caught right in front of the foul pole by Carthon. To end the inning, Woodson made a diving stab of a grounder up the middle by Herrington, and then dove to second base to get the putout of Green - his first of three outstanding plays in the field.
After recording one out in the top of the seventh, Dye was lifted for lefty Alex Dumaine. Carthon notched Tulane's fifth hit of the day and advanced to second on a grounder to third by Middleton. Carthon strolled to third on a wild pitch from Dumaine. Carthon came home on a single through the right side from Boudreaux. With a 2-and-2 count to Potkay, ULM replaced Dumaine with Tyler Bray who got the final strike on Potkay to end the inning.
LeBlanc struck out Dudley to lead off the bottom of the seventh before Alexander reached base on a single to left field. With two outs, he came around to score on a single by Stawychny to cut the Tulane lead to just two runs. LeBlanc then walked Lucas to put the go-ahead run in Judd Edwards at the plate. A screamer was hit by him towards the right side, but Woodson flashed his glove again on a diving stop to throw Edwards out at first.
Cannizaro added another hit to his resume in the top of the eighth off Bray, and with two outs, he stole second. Yandel brought him home on an RBI single to right field for his first hit since he notched an RBI single against ULL last Tuesday.
Junior Brady Wilson relieved LeBlanc on the mound to open the bottom of the eighth, and he got stellar defense from Woodson behind him, as the junior from Vicksburg, Miss., made a barehanded pickup of a grounder off the bat of Green to throw him out at first. Abdalla flew out to left before Wilson struck out Herrington to end the inning quickly.
Chad Miller relieved Bray in the top of the ninth, and with two outs, he walked Boudreaux. Potkay got his first hit of the game through the left side before Miller was pulled for Chet Simoneaux. Cannizaro added his third hit of the contest when he hit a line drive off Simoneaux's foot to load the bases. Batting with the bases loaded for the first time on the season, Oakley popped up to center field to leave three runners on base.
Wilson allowed a one-out pinch hit single to Ryan Bergeron in the bottom of the ninth, before Tidwell grounded into an inning-ending runner's interference double play to end the contest. Wilson earned his second save for his efforts.
Malone (0-1) was credited with the loss.
Tomorrow, the Greenies will host cross-town rival New Orleans for the third game of the season at 6:30pm CT at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The winner of the contest will take home the First NBC Cup, as the series is tied at one game apiece. The game will be broadcast on 88.3 FM WRBH, and live stats will be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com.
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