April 29, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Conrad Flynn surrendered three runs in seven innings, but held the UAB offense to only three hits, while D.J. Ponder and Nick Pepitone threw the final two innings scoreless to lead the Tulane baseball team to a 6-3 victory over the Blazers in the series opener on Friday (April 29) evening inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
"Conrad pitched very well tonight, with the exception of the fourth inning when he left a couple balls up with two strikes," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "Other than that he was down in the zone, (got) quick outs and the big double play ball there in the seventh to get us out of (a jam), because he was obviously getting close to his pitch count."
"Yeah we swung the bat better tonight," said Jones. "I thought a big play in the game was Nick Schneeberger getting to second base when they made the throw to third. That put us in a position where we could tie the game on a hit and that was big."
The Olive and Blue opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Nick Boullosa was hit by the first pitch of the game from UAB (24-18, 8-8 C-USA) starting pitcher Ryan Woolley. The senior moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Jeremy Schaffer sacrifice fly to the wall in right field to push the Green Wave ahead, 1-0.
UAB took the lead in the fourth with three runs against Flynn, the Tulane (25-17, 5-8 C-USA) starting pitcher. A leadoff walk was followed by a pair of singles to load the bases and Patrick Palmeiro tied the score with an RBI groundout. Harry Clark pushed the Blazers ahead 2-1 with an RBI single and a double steal was successful executed by UAB to push their lead to 3-1.
In the fifth, the Green Wave loaded the bases on singles from Bowen Woodson and Nick Schneeberger, along with a walk by Garrett Cannizaro with no one out in the inning. Brennan Middleton then grounded into a double play, but Woodson scored from third and Nick Boullosa's base hit to second base pushed the game-tying run across the plate.
After Flynn threw a scoreless sixth, the Tulane offense took the lead for good with a three-run sixth. Schaffer got the inning started with his 20th double of the year to left-center field with one out in the inning and Frank Florio's single a batter later put runners on the corners. Brandon Boudreaux singled to drive in the first run of the sixth and Woodson followed with a two-RBI doubled down the left field line to push the Green Wave in front, 6-3.
Flynn worked out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning, rolling a ground ball on his final pitch of the evening to keep the score at 6-3. The senior worked seven complete innings and allowed the three runs on three hits. He walked four batters for the first time in his career, but struck out four to improve to 3-5 overall on the season.
"Yeah, (Conrad) had good stuff with the exception of the fourth inning," Jones said. "He left three balls up in the fourth, two with two strikes, but other than that he came right back out in the fifth and went right back after them and I thought he did a good job."
Ponder tossed a scoreless eighth inning, allowing just a single, throwing 11 pitches to record his three outs and then handed the ball to Pepitone in the ninth. Pepitone retired all three batters that he faced in the frame, including one strikeout, to collect his 11th save of the season. It marked the 28th career save for Pepitone, tying him with Joey Charron for second on the career charts, and his 11 saves are tied for fifth in a single season with the Green Wave.
Offensively, Woodson posted consecutive games with multiple RBI's, diving in two on the evening, to go along with his sixth multi-hit game of the season. Boullosa posted two hits in the game, while five other Green Wave batters chipped in one hit. Six different players scored runs in the game, while Boullosa, Boudreaux and Schaffer each collected RBI's.
Tulane will host UAB in the second game of a three game series on Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 and the two teams will meet on Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 in the series finale.