April 30, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Another brilliant effort from the pitching staff and timely hitting lead the Tulane baseball team to their 12th one-run victory of the season on Saturday (April 30) with a 2-1 win against UAB to claim the series win. Nick Schneeberger tied the game with an RBI double and scored the game winning run a batter later to pace the offense and push Tulane's winning streak to three games.
"Obviously I was very pleased with our at bats today," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We hit the ball a lot harder, but didn't have a lot to show for it early. I was pleased with Drew Zizinia pitching out of that jam (in the fourth and fifth innings). (He got) out of the runners at second and third situation and then worked out of the bases loaded jam with (a strikeout and a fly out). That was huge. David Napoli was outstanding today with three shutout innings. Nick (Pepitone) didn't have his best stuff today, but when you have one of the premier closers in college baseball you are going to go to him."
UAB (24-19, 8-9 C-USA) manufactured the first run of the game in the third inning versus Green Wave starting pitcher Drew Zizinia. Andrew Manning started the inning with a single through the left side and Ivan De Jesus reached on a fielders choice, but the throw was not in time at second and Manning was safe on the play. A sacrifice bunt accounted for the first out of the inning and Tulane cut down a run at the plate, but a wild pitch from Zizinia allowed the first run of the game to cross the plate.
Brandon Boudreaux led off the fifth inning with a single to right field - breaking up the no hitter by UAB starting pitcher Blake Huddleston - and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Nick Schneeberger then doubled to left center field, scoring Boudreaux, and scored the eventual winning run when Garrett Cannizaro singled to right field. That was all the offense that Tulane (26-17, 6-8 C-USA) would need as they led 2-1 heading to the sixth.
David Napoli relieved Zizinia in the sixth inning and retired eight straight batters before Nick Pepitone came on to collect his 12th save of the season in the ninth. Napoli struck out two and didn't allow a base runner, while Pepitone allowed a single, rolled a double play and coaxed a groundout to move into second on the all-time saves list with 29.
Zizinia improved to 2-1 on the season in the victory as he allowed the one run on four hits. He walked five, but struck out five and stranded eight Blazer base runners in the outing.
The victory gave the Green Wave their second series win of the Conference USA slate, beating UCF 2-1 earlier this month, and move into seventh place in the standings after UCF dropped a game to Houston on Saturday.
"We have to get back the series' that we lost and when we got swept," said Jones. "We have to get (those wins) back and the only way do that it to put together a bunch of good weekends in a row. Tomorrow we have to be as relentless as possible. You saw how well UAB is playing defensively. A one run ballgame today, could have gone either way, and the same thing with last night, a three run game that could have gone either way. The challenge for us tomorrow is going to be for us to focus on fundamental baseball and not rest on our laurels."
Seven different players accounted for hits in the game, with Schneeberger and Cannizaro each collecting the RBI's. Jeremy Schaffer was on base three times as he walked twice and singled, while Boullosa, Cannizaro and Schneeberger each had a hit and a walk in the contest.
The Olive and Blue will close out their series with the Blazers on Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 on the Turf at Turchin.