April 19, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Freshman right fielder Nathan Southard went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run, and the Green Wave got solid relief performances from rookie Tyler Kimmons and preseason Conference-USA selection Joey Charron, as the Tulane University baseball team claimed a 9-6 victory over C-USA foe UAB Saturday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane had three homers on the day - a two-run shot by senior left fielder Aaron Feldman in the fourth and another two-run blast by senior centerfielder Jonny Kaplan in the fifth - but none was bigger than Southard's two-run blast in the seventh to break a 6-6 tie to give the Green Wave the lead for good.
Kimmons came on in relief of starter J.R. Crowel with one on and two away in the seventh, and the freshman right-hander came through with a strikeout to get out of the inning and tossed a scoreless eighth to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the year. Charron took the bump for Tulane in the ninth and retired all three batters he faced to earn his seventh save of the season to clinch the Green Wave victory.
With the win, Tulane improves to 28-12 on the year and 11-6 in C-USA play. UAB, meanwhile, falls to 21-16 overall and 6-10 in league action.
Kaplan, Southard, Feldman and sophomore second baseman Tommy Manzella each tallied two hits in the contest as Tulane out-hit the Blazers 12-11 in the second straight slugfest of the series. The difference in the ballgame was the Green Wave bullpen as neither Crowel nor UAB starter Jon Burgett figured in the decision.
Tulane got on the board first with an unearned run in the opening stanza as Kaplan hit a leadoff single, advanced to second when junior shortstop Tony Giarratano reached on an error, went to third on a groundout by junior first baseman Michael Aubrey and scored on an RBI-groundout off the bat of sophomore designated hitter Gerald Clark one at-bat later.
Things got worse for the Green Wave in the extended inning as Drew Connell hit an RBI-double to right-central and Matt Womble followed with a two-run homer to left to stake the Blazers to a 5-1 lead.
Crowel bounced back in the fourth with a three-up, three-down frame and gave up just a single in the fifth to keep the Green Wave in the game, and the Tulane bats answered in the bottom of the fifth when Southard reached on a fielder's choice and Feldman homered to left center to cut the lead to two.
The freshman southpaw retired the side in order in the sixth, and once again the Green Wave offense came though with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame as freshman third baseman Tim Guidry ripped a one-out double to the gap in left center before Kaplan clubbed a two-run shot over the wall in the left to tie the game at five.
Tulane took its second lead of the game in the sixthwhen Southard hit a leadoff single, Manzella got hit by a pitch and junior catcher Brian Bormaster drew a walk to load the bases, and Guidry responded with an RBI-groundout to second to bring Southard to the paystation.
UAB refused to go away, though, as the Blazers plated a run off Crowel in the sixth when Jones hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Goneke and scored on an RBI-single by Kyle Leon to tie the game at 6-all. The Blazers had two on with two out following a single by Connel, but Tulane brought in Kimmons from the bullpen, and the lanky righty struck out Womble looking to get out of the inning without any more damage done.
The Blazers mounted a rally in the seventh with a double by Seth Rollin and a single by Jones, but Kimmons got Goneke to groundout to short to strand a pair of runners. In the bottom of the frame, Aubrey got hit by a pitch before Southard's game-deciding blast to left to put the Green Wave ahead 8-6. Feldman followed with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored one at-bat later when Manzella doubled to down the left-field line to account for the final score.
While the Green Wave bullpen kept the Blazers off the board over the final two innings of the contest, the Blazers were not as fortunate as Tulane touched UAB reliever Cody Cillo for four earned runs on five hits to nail the Blazer closer with the loss.
Tulane and UAB closes out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Following the Sunday contest, the Green Wave end a four-game home stand with a Tuesday showdown with in-state foe Nicholls State at 6:30 before heading to the Show Me State to battle C-USA opponent Saint Louis on April 25-27.