April 24, 2009
NEW ORLEANS- The Tulane offense was in full force Friday night at the Green Wave knocked off the visiting Tigers of Memphis 12-4 in game one of the Conference USA series, improving to 25-17 overall and 6-7 in C-USA action.
"We played a complete game tonight," head coach Rick Jones said. "We were error-less, we ran the bases really well, we had some quality at-bats, we stretched the lead late, Jonathan Garrett pitched well and Nick Pepitone threw well out of the bullpen.
"Josh leading off the game with a home run was big. Schaffer and Seth's home runs in the eighth stretched the lead and puts you in a situation where you can take a lot of things away from them [Memphis]."
Memphis picked up a run early, when Adam McClain picked up a two-out triple to straightaway centerfield. Shawn Ablett stepped in and knocked McClain in on the RBI-single to right field, getting Memphis on the board 1-0. But Green Wave starter Jonathan Garrett (4-1) induced a fly ball out of Trey Wiedman to end the inning and get Tulane in the dugout, where Josh Prince got right to work at the plate. The Wave leadoff man saw one pitch before taking the Tigers' starter Brennon Martin (5-3) deep to left field to get the run back and it was 1-1 after the first inning.
Tulane took the lead in the bottom of the third when Matt Ryan opened the frame with a base hit up the middle. Prince followed with a four-pitch walk and both Wave runners moved up a bag on the sacrifice bunt up the first base line by Scott Powell. Sam Honeck stepped in and laced a ball back up the box, scoring both Ryan and Prince to give Tulane the 3-1 advantage. Jeremy Schaffer followed, reaching base after being dotted by Martin, bringing up Seth Henry. Henry picked up a hit to load the bases for Steve Moritz, who got a base knock to right field to plate Honeck and Schaffer. With runners at the corners in Henry and Moritz, Memphis called on righty Jonathan Jones to face Evan Mistich. Mistich made his second plate appearance count, taking Jones deep to centerfield for the three-run bomb, putting Tulane up 8-1 after three complete innings.
Garrett kept the Tigers at bay until the seventh, going 6.2 innings while striking out six before the Tigers strung together a couple hits in the top of the frame. Memphis put up a four-spot, with Tyler Huelsing getting the first RBI knock of the inning on a drive to centerfield. With runners at second and third and two down, Ablett notched the base hit to right field to pick up two RBI and bring Memphis within four, 8-4. The Tulane bullpen worked out of the jam, with Nick Pepitone not even registering a pitch before picking off Ablett at second to end the inning.
The Green Wave tacked on a few more in the eighth to put the game out of reach as Prince drew a one-out walk. He quickly stole his 32 and 33 bases of the year and crossed the pay station on an errant throw by the Tigers catcher Ablett. With two down, Honeck picked up a walk and Memphis called on reliever Mark Jobe to face Schaffer. Schaffer welcomed Jobe to the contest, taking the first pitch he saw to deep left-centerfield for the two run shot. Henry got in the mix, notching his ninth long ball of the season over the left field wall on a line. The fourth Tulane home run of the contest put the Wave up 12-4.
Pepitone went back to work in the ninth, retiring the Memphis side in order to earn his seventh save of the season. The righty threw 2.1 innings while striking out two of the six batters faced to secure the win for the Green Wave.
Tulane will return to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium Saturday in game two of the series. Senior Josh Zeid will take the hill for the Wave, going head to head with the Tigers' Heith Hatfield. First pitch is slated for 2PM.