April 17, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Like it has been for most of the season, you can't just point your finger at one facet of the game that helped the Tulane baseball claim a 7-3 victory and complete the season series sweep against Southeastern Louisiana on a damp Tuesday (April 17) evening inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Alex Byo tossed seven solid innings in the start, the offense pounded out 13 more hits and the Green Wave played errorless defense to supplement the tenth best fielding percentage in the NCAA.
"We pitched well, we played well defensively, and we had thirteen hits," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We didn't bunch really bunch out hits tonight and left five on in the first two innings. I've said this many times, when you're swinging the bat well and you're getting a lot of hits, you're going to leave some people on base. We knocked enough in to stretch the lead and we pitched and played defense."
Brandon Boudreaux wasted no time getting Tulane (26-11) on the scoreboard as he came up with runners on first and second and two outs in the third inning. The junior delivered a RBI base hit to center field.
With the lead sitting at 1-0, Alex Byo moved through the first four innings with ease against the Lions batting order, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced. That allowed Tulane to build their lead to 5-0 with four more runs in the fourth inning against Southeastern Louisiana (25-12) starting pitcher Sean Kennel (0-1).
Byo would give up his first two runs of the ballgame in the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI singles from ben Hernandez and Harry Slade, but the Green Wave struck with two of their own when Schneeberger delivered a bases loaded two-RBI single to make it 7-2.
A six inning RBI single from Cody Gougler was all the runs that Byo and Tulane would allow in his ninth start of the season. The junior completed seven innings of work and allowed the three runs on six hits and one walk. Byo fanned four batters to improve to 5-3 on the season.
The bullpen took things from there and held the lead versus the Lions. Alex Facundus made his team-high 16th appearance of the season, allowing two hits and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning. D.J. Ponder came on with two runners on base and two outs in the eighth and retired all four batters he faced to close out his sixth save of the season. Ponder threw just 18 pitches in his 15th appearance of the year, striking out one and stranding two more inherited runners.
"We beat a quality team tonight," said Jones. "Obviously their record reflects that and their RPI reflects that. To do that and get a sweep over (Southeastern Louisiana) certainly didn't hurt us as far as coming down the stretch and certainly (didn't hurt) going into a big weekend. We knew after last weekend, we'd put ourselves in a position where now, all of a sudden, if we do our job it gives us an opportunity to build a case, a very strong case, and tonight didn't do anything but hurt us there."
The offense watched as five players collected multiple hits for the Olive and Blue, marking the 16th time this season that four or more players have posted multiple hits in the same game. The Green Wave offense sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth inning and has now sent eight-or-more batters to the plate 32 times in 2012.
Leading the way was Schneeberger with his 20th multi-hit effort and ninth multi-RBI performance of 2012. The senior was three-for-five with three RBIs and a run scored. Boudreaux plated a pair of runs on two hits and scored twice on the night, while Brennan Middleton and Troy McCartney each posted two hits, scoring two runs and one run, respectively. Cannizaro reached base four times on the night - twice via hits and a pair of walks - to go along with a run scored and an RBI.
Tulane will return continue their five-game homestand with a three game series against #14/15 UCF starting on Friday, April 20 at 6:30. The Green Wave and Knights will continue the series at 2:00 on Saturday (April 21) and 1:00 on Sunday (April 22). Tulane enters the weekend in fourth place in Conference USA with a 5-4 record, while UCF is tied atop the conference standings with a 9-3 mark.
- Tulane posted their fifth straight win in the series and now leads the all-time tally, 71-30.
- Tulane posted ten or more hits for the 18th time in 2012, with seven of nine starters collecting hits.
- With five players recording multiple hits on Tuesday, Tulane now has four or more players record multi-hit games in 16 of their 37 games.
- Sean Potkay extended his reached base streak to 16 games on Tuesday night.
- Potkay's walk on Tuesday night marked the 20th game the junior has at least one base on balls this season.
- Potkay drove in an RBI for the fifth straight game with his RBI single in the fourth inning.
- Potkay, Brandon Boudreaux, Garret Cannizaro and Frank Florio each extended their hitting streaks to six games.
- Brennan Middleton extended his reached base streak to a career high 14 games.
- Nick Schneeberger posted his 20th multi-hit and ninth multi-RBI game of the season on Tuesday night.
- Alex Byo won his third consecutive start on Tuesday versus Southeastern Louisiana to improve to 5-3 on the year.
- D.J. Ponder posted his sixth save of the season and has now stranded 12 of 14 inherited runners on the season.
- Tulane's pitching staff held Southeastern to just three runs, marking the 22nd time this season they have allowed three or fewer runs in a game.