Brennan Middleton Plated the Go-Ahead Run with a Ninth Inning Double on Saturday Night
May 12, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - It was a tie ballgame heading to the ninth inning when Brennan Middleton and Nick Schneeberger came through with two of the biggest hits of the season to help the Tulane baseball walk away with 5-2 victory in nightcap on Saturday (May 12) at Cougar Field. David Napoli gutted out eight innings on the mound to pick up his seventh victory of the season and Andrew Garner posted two hits at the plate and his closed out his first career save to knot the series at one game apiece.
"David (Napoli) gave us a tremendous effort," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "He threw eight solid innings, 112 pitches, and really pitched well. We needed that (type of start) from him since we invested so much out of our bullpen in game one. Andrew (Garner) came on and gave us a clean ninth and Cody (Robinson) came through with a huge hit for us to get the ninth inning started. Then Brennan (Middleton) and Nick (Schneeberger) also came through with big hits for us."
It was tightly contested throughout for the two teams, who played six innings of the series opener to start the day, before Cody Robinson doubled with one out in the ninth inning of a 2-2 ballgame. He came in to score on a two-out double down the right field by Middleton and, after Cannizaro walk, Schneeberger delivered a two-RBI triple into the right-center field gap to move the Green Wave ahead 5-2.
"In game one we couldn't get the big hit when we needed too," said Jones, "but in game two we were able to push it across in the top of the ninth. Those were three really big hits in clutch situations."
Garner did it all in the second game of the series as he was two-for-four with a runs scored and an RBI, before coming on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save.
It was a misplay by the Tulane defense that led to the first run of the game for Houston (17-29-1, 5-14-1 C-USA). Landon Appling started the game the way he ended the first game, with a base hit, he moved to third when Napoli had him caught stealing at second base, but Tucker Oakley's throw was wide of the bag and second and Appling moved all the way to third base. Jake Runte followed with a base hit to score Appling from third and give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Tulane (34-17, 11-9 C-USA) answered with a run in the top of the second inning versus Cougar starting pitcher Jordan Lewis when Blake Crohan doubled to right center field with one out in the inning. Andrew Garner then singled up the middle to plate Crohan and knot the score at one run apiece.
Both teams plated single runs in the seventh inning, with Garner scoring on a wild pitch in the top half of the inning and Runte added his second RBI with a groundout that pushed Price Jacobs across after he started the inning with a single.
Napoli threw eight innings and allowed seven hits with three walks in his tenth start of the year. The junior fanned six and stranded eight base runners to pick up his seventh victory of the season. The left-hander reached the eighth inning plateau for the third time this season and has tossed at least five innings in all ten starts of 2012.
Schneeberger posted his 12th multi-RBI game of the season and knocked his fourth triple of the year, while Jeremy Schaffer, Garner and Oakley each chipped in two hits in the second game. Middleton moved his reached base streak to 28 games with his ninth inning double.
Of Tulane's 11 hits, seven went for extra bases - six doubles and one triple - while all eight of Houston's hits were singles.
The series deciding game will take place on Sunday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m. with Alex Massey taking the mound for the Green Wave.
- Houston leads the all-time series, 31-26.
- Tulane posted ten-plus hits for the 29th time in 2012 and the fourth straight game.
- Andrew Garner posted his second straight multi-hit game on Saturday, ninth of the season.
- Sean Potkay posted his 35th walk of the season, first since having his appendix removed.
- Garner threw a scoreless ninth inning to collect his first career save.
- Cody Robinson posted his first hit of the season, a double to left field, in the ninth inning on Saturday night.
- Brennan Middleton moved his reached base streak to 28 games with a double in the ninth inning on Saturday night.
- Middleton and Blake Crohan each moved their hitting streaks to six games.