April 27, 2013
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Tulane's baseball squad won game two of the doubleheader against Marshall, 7-3, giving the Green Wave the series after a long 24 hours at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W. Va. on Saturday.
The Greenies lost game one of the series to Marshall (16-26, 5-10) in 11 innings on Friday night, but came back on Saturday to win game one of the doubleheader, 3-2, in the second consecutive 11 inning game. After scoring only six runs in the first two games of the series, Tulane (22-22, 7-8) put a combined six runs on the board in the final three frames of the rubber match. Two of the runs scored today were by Andrew Garner, who had another huge night, going 4-for-4 at the plate and getting a save in the process.
"Our kids showed some grit and some resolve today after two straight close losses," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "I thought David Napoli gave us another great performance, and Andrew Garner had a huge weekend at the plate for us, and followed that up with his performance on the mound today. Brennan Middleton and Nick DiMaggio hit very well for us today too. And you can't discount how Cameron Burns caught all weekend for us. Today puts us in a better situation in the league, and it gives us something to build on."
The sweep of a doubleheader of a Conference USA foe was the first for the Greenies since 2008, when they took back-to-back contests on the same day from the East Carolina Pirates.
It didn't take long in game two for Tulane to get on the base paths, as freshman Richard Carthon led the game off by reaching on an error by shortstop Sergio Leon. After a moonshot caught at the warning track in right field off the bat of senior Brandon Boudreaux, the Greenies hit into an inning ending double play.
Napoli (4-2) - who got the start on the mound for the Greenies - allowed the first hit of the contest to Marshall's Andrew Dundon, who moved to second on a groundout. Napoli walked Chase Vogelbach and Nathan Gomez to load the bases with two outs. Fortunately, Tulane was able to escape trouble as Gray Stafford popped up to senior Sean Potkay in foul territory.
Garner beat out a double clutch throw from third base on an infield grounder to lead off the top of the second, and then he stole second base for just his second theft of the season. Middleton joined him on the base paths after getting hit by a pitch - his fourth plunking of the series. Junior Bowen Woodson hit what could have been a routine inning ending double play, but after putting out Middleton at second, Leon wildly threw to first, allowing Garner to score from second for the first run of the contest.
Marshall scored two in the bottom of the third on a home run off the bat of Eric Escobedo, his first of the season. Dundon had reached base just prior to the round tripper after getting hit by a pitch.
Boudreaux led off the top of the sixth with a walk, but was caught stealing for the first out of the inning. Cannizaro then sent a line drive into right field before Taylor grazed Garner to put runners on first and second. A fly ball to center field off the bat of Potkay was caught by Ballou and then Middleton hit an infield hit to load the bases. However, Taylor was able to strike out the last Green Wave batter to strand three Tulane runners.
Burns drew a walk from Taylor with one out in the top of the seventh, and Marshall sent lefty Alex Thackston to the mound. Carthon hit a short hopper right in front of the dish, and Thackston (0-3) threw the ball away at first, sending the ball deep into right field to score Burns from second to tie the contest and moving Carthon to second. After Thackston walked Boudreaux on four straight pitches, the entire Marshall battery was replaced as Kolin Stanley took the mound and Matt Kirkwood subbed for David Diaz-Fernandez behind the dish. Cannizaro tried to stretch a single into a double, and while he was thrown out at second, both Carthon and Boudreaux came home to score after Ballou fumbled the ball in an attempt to make a play at the plate. Garner then followed that action up with an infield single to shortstop. He stole second and reached third on the throw - Marshall's fifth error of the inning and third error of the frame - before Marshall was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Leon led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off the wall. But a keen Napoli was able to pick him off at second base. However, Ballou singled to right field and Escobedo doubled over the head of Carthon in left field to score Ballou, cutting Tulane's lead to just one run. Garner came to the mound in relief of Napoli in the contest at that juncture of the game. Burns made an amazing one-knee sliding catch in front of the Tulane dugout on a foul ball from Vogelbach to strand the tying run at second base, and sending the contest to the eighth.
Middleton singled on a bloop single to center field on a full count to lead off the top of the eighth, and he advanced to second on a groundout. DiMaggio - who was making his second consecutive start of the weekend - nailed a double down the left field line that plated Middleton to give Tulane a 5-3 lead. Marshall sent Matt Hummel to the mound with two outs and DiMaggio at second in the top of the eighth, and Carthon sent a bouncer through the right side of the infield to score DiMaggio, giving Tulane a 6-3 lead.
Garner came back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and allowed back-to-back singles to Vogelbach and Gomez, but Gomez was put out on a double play by Strafford. Vogelbach moved to third on the play, but Garner was able to strike out Bossi to send the game into the ninth. Garner - still batting despite being on the mound - notched a single up the middle with one-out, and he moved to second on an infield groundout by Potkay. Middleton brought him home on his third hit of the game, giving Tulane a 7-3 lead, and knocking Hummel out of the contest. Kyle Kessler came on in relief and Middleton was called out at second base on a very questionable call for the final out of the frame.
Garner remained on the hill in the ninth, and he allowed a one-out single to pinch hitter Travis Myers. Ballou doubled down the left field line to put Myers at third. However, he was able to strikeout Dundon before inducing a groundout to Escobedo for the final out of the game. Garner earned his fourth save of the season for his efforts on the mound.
At the dish, Garner went 4-for-4, collecting his first career four hit game. During game one of the series, he was initially credited with four hits, but the official scorer changed the scoring to an error late last night, giving Garner only three hits. Garner also stole three bags in game two of the doubleheader. For the series, Garner was 8-for-14 at the dish.
Middleton went 3-for-4 on the day, giving him his first multi-hit game since the second game of the East Carolina series on April 13.
Napoli pitched 6.2 innings, striking out five and allowing seven hits for his fourth win on the year. Thackston, who only faced one batter, got the loss.
The Greenies will return to action on Tuesday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium when they will host Southeastern Louisiana at 6:30pm CT. The game will be broadcast on 88.3 FM WRBH. Wednesday, the New Orleans Privateers will come to the Uptown campus for a 5pm CT game that can be heard on 106.1 The Ticket.
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