April 27, 2013
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Tulane's baseball team defeated the Marshall Thundering Herd in game one of a doubleheader by a score of 3-2 in eleven innings behind solid starting pitching from senior Alex Byo and clutch hitting from freshman Richard Carthon.
Tulane (21-22, 6-8) tied the game in the top of the ninth at two runs after being held scoreless at the hand of Marshall (16-25, 5-9) starter Aaron Blair, and the game went to extra innings for the second straight game. In the top of the eleventh, Carthon laced an RBI single - his second of the contest - off Marshall's Josh King to score senior Sean Potkay for what would ultimately become the winning run of the game.
Both Blair and Byo pitched nearly identical contest, with Byo pitching 8.0 innings while striking out four and allowing only five hits and one earned run. Blair did have ten strikeouts, but he allowed seven hits and two earned runs while going 8.1 innings. Both pitchers earned no decisions.
Blair retired the Greenies in order to leadoff the game, putting Tulane starter Alex Byo on the mound. Thundering Herd leadoff hitter Isaac Ballou hit a triple to left center field to leadoff the contest and came home to score on an infield single off the bat of Nathan Gomez, giving Marshall an early 1-0 lead.
Junior Andrew Garner laced a single into center field to lead off the top of the second. Senior Sean Potkay followed suit by smashing one to right center, but Ballou made an outstanding diving catch to keep the Montana native off the base paths. Garner moved into scoring position on a groundout by senior Brennan Middleton, but was left there.
Marshall's Gray Stafford hit a single right up the middle on the first pitch of the bottom of the second inning and advanced to second base on a steal. A one-out fly out by Eric Escobedo moved him to third, but a heads up play by senior Garrett Cannizaro to throw Stafford out at home on a grounder to third kept Marshall from tacking on another run.
Blair continued to pitch well as he retired the Green Wave hitters in order in the top of the third. But Byo mimicked Blair's performance in the bottom of the third despite a scary moment where a line drive went right off his foot. Byo was able to make the play to first, and remained in the game.
Senior Brandon Boudreaux led off the top of the fourth with a walk, and he moved to second on a groundout by Garner, where he stayed when the Tulane batters couldn't bring him home. In the top of the fifth, Carthon hit a two-out triple to the left center field wall, but was left stranded 90 feet away to end the frame.
Byo made incredibly quick work of the Thundering Herd in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the side in order on less than ten pitches. In the top of the sixth, Blair did the same with the two first Greenie batters. He got some more stellar defense from Ballou to end the inning when he came in from deep center to make a diving catch on a blooper from Cannizaro.
In the bottom of the seventh, Escobedo was hit by a pitch from Byo, and he moved to second on a slash hit by Bossi with no outs on the board. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Kirkwood. After Leon grounded out to shortstop for the second out, Ballou was intentionally walked to load the bases, giving Tulane an option to make a play at any plate. However, no play at any plate was needed as Andrew Dundon lifted a fly ball into right field for an easy out.
DiMaggio reached base on a single through the left side in the top of the eighth, and he swiped second base with two outs to represent the tying run. But he too was left stranded. Byo retired Gomez and Chase Vogelbach before allowing a single to Stafford, who subsequently stole second. On a routine grounder by Escobedo, an error by the Tulane infield allowed him to reach first as well as allowing Stafford to score the second run of the contest.
Cannizaro led off the top of the ninth with a double down the left field line. With one out, Blair walked Potkay - who represented the tying run - and allowed a hit to Middleton that scored Cannizaro from second base to cut the lead to one run. Woodson then hit a blooper over the infield to score Potkay to tie the contest before Blair hit Carthon to load the bases. Josh King then relieved Blair, and he was able to record two straight strikeouts to end Tulane's threat.
Freshman Ian Gibaut came to the mound for the Greenies in the bottom of the ninth, and he only needed six pitches to send the game into extra innings. King (1-2) matched Gibaut's (2-2) performance in the top of the tenth, retiring the Green Wave in order.
Gibaut delivered back-to-back walks to Dundon and Gomez to start the bottom of the tenth. Gibaut was able to get pinch hitter Alfredo Brito to foul off his third bunt attempt for the first strikeout and following that up with a strikeout of Stafford. With Dundon on second base, representing the winning run, Gibaut was able to get Escobedo to ground out to shortstop to send the game to the eleventh inning.
Potkay led off the top of the eleventh with a single into left center, and he was bunted over on a sacrifice by Middleton. Woodson hit a slow roller towards second base, and Leon scooped it up and made a jumping throw to first base to put him out, but not before Potkay got to third base. Carthon hit a screamer that ricocheted off the glove of King, bouncing into right field and allowing Potkay to score the go-ahead run.
Tulane and Marshall will play game three approximately forty minutes after the end of the first game of the doubleheader.
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