May 6, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - In a pitcher's duel that took 13 innings, the Tulane baseball team walked off with a 3-2 victory over Memphis thanks to a Nick Schneeberger RBI double to right center field that scored Jeremy Schaffer from first base. The Green Wave out-hit the Tigers 10-6 and scored the final three runs of the game to grab the series opening victory.
"Conrad pitched really well and only gave up three hits to a team that was hitting as well they were hitting (entering the game)," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "That was a heck of an effort on his part. Nick (Pepitone) and Alex (Facundus) both made pitches under pressure when they had to and we played really well defensively. I thought, after the fifth inning, we swung the bats really well. We didn't have a lot to show for it and it would have been easy for us to get frustrated, but we didn't. Memphis also made a handful of fielding gems and if we can get one of those to fall the game could have been over sooner."
Conrad Flynn retired the first nine batters that he faced before Drew Martinez singled through the right side of the infield to start the fourth. A fielding error on a sacrifice bunt allowed Martinez to advance to third and he later scored a sacrifice fly from Jacob Wilson to give Memphis an early 1-0 lead.
After Flynn retired six straight batters over the next two innings, the Tigers added another run in the seventh on an RBI double from Robby Graham. T.J. Rich led off the innings with a walk and came around to score on Graham's double down the right field line.
Tulane could muster only a ninth inning single against Memphis reliever Ben Paullus until Schaffer singled with one out in the 13th inning. Paullus struck out five batters and allowed just three hits in five and two-thirds innings after entering the game in the seventh inning. Paullus got a fly ball out to start the 13th and Schaffer followed with a single through the left side of the infield to extend his hitting streak to six games. Schneeberger followed by lacing a one-ball, two-strike pitch into the right-center field gap and Schaffer was getting waved home as he rounded second base. Schaffer - who had caught all 13 innings - slid across home plate to give Tulane a 3-2 victory in the series opener.
Flynn threw nine innings and allowed two runs - one earned - on three hits in his fourth non decision of the season. It was the most innings that Flynn had worked since May 10, 2009 when he threw a complete game versus UAB. He walked two and struck out five batters, while lowering his ERA to 3.242 on the season.
Nick Pepitone was first out of the bullpen for the Green Wave and the senior tossed three scoreless innings, working out of trouble in the 10th and 11th innings. Pepitone allowed two hits and walked one batter, striking out two, in his 21st outing of the season before handing the ball to Alex Facundus in the 13th. Facundus allowed only a leadoff single to Martinez in the 13th, but got an out on a sacrifice bunt before a strikeout and a ground out ended the threat and sent the game to the bottom of the 13th inning tied at two.
"It's one game in the series, but we invested so much tonight from our bullpen," said Jones. "Alex can come back tomorrow, but Nick will probably be a day before he would come back. If you lose a game like this, with as much as we invested, it would have been tough. However, even winning the game we are going to have to have some other guys step up for us the rest of the weekend."
Facundus (7-2) got his seventh win of the season as he threw a scoreless inning. The freshman is tied for second in Conference USA in wins and is tied for the conference lead in appearances, making his 24th of the season on Friday night.
Schneeberger, Woodson and Middleton all paced the team with two hits apiece, while Nick Boullosa extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the contest. It is the first walk-off hit for Schneeberger and his third game winning hit of the season.
The 13 innings are the most played by a Tulane team since the 2007 season when the Green Wave won a 5-4 ballgame over Wright State on March 2 at Zephyr Field. It is the third walk off win for the Olive and Blue this season and gives them seven in the last two seasons. It is also their 13th one-run victory to the year, pushing their record to 13-3 in game decided by one run.
The Green Wave will continue their series with the Tigers on Saturday, May 7 with a 2:00 first pitch at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. Drew Zizinia will toe the rubber for Tulane, while Ryan Holland is scheduled to pitch for Memphis.