Freshman Alex Facundus Has Won Eight Games as a Freshman for the Green Wave
May 13, 2011
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Tulane baseball team showed up to Appalachian Power Park expecting to play one game, but with inclement weather expected on Saturday in the Charleston, W. Va. area, the Green Wave and the Thundering Herd of Marshall played a doubleheader. Tulane grabbed game one, 5-4, before Marshall rallied with four runs in the ninth inning to win a 7-6 game in the nightcap.
"Anytime you get to the ballpark and you don't know until after the first game that you are going to play a second one it is tough to prepare for. Our team got back up for the second one, even though we didn't know we were going to be playing it until after the first one... and it was a frustrating end to what I though was a really sharply played day by our team... I was really proud of the way our guys played today and it was just an unfortunate situation at an unfortunate time for our club."
In the first game, Tulane (29-21, 9-11 C-USA) took an early 3-0 with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Blake Crohan plated the first run of the game after Jeremy Schaffer led off the inning with a walk and, after a Nick Schneeberger single, moved to third on a Bowen Woodson sacrifice bunt. Crohan then followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.
A Garrett Cannizaro walk started the fifth and Brennan Middleton moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before a Nick Boullosa single plated Cannizaro for the second run of the game. In the sixth, Schneeberger doubled to lead off the frame, stole third base and coasted home when Woodson singled to right-center field and it was 3-0 in favor of the Green Wave.
Conrad Flynn had cruised through the first six innings, retiring 18 of the first 19 batters he faced in the outing before running into trouble in the seventh. Flynn had allowed just a second inning single, but a leadoff walk and a single started the seventh. A Rhett Stafford sacrifice fly started the scoring for Marshall (19-28, 6-14 C-USA) and back-to-back doubles from brothers Victor Gomes and Nathan Gomez - the later plating two RBI's - knotted the contest at 3-3. Alex Facundus entered the game with one out and a runner on second and got a fly out to start his outing before Gray Stafford gave the home team the lead with a single to center field.
With the score sitting at 4-3, Tulane answered with two runs in the top of the eighth and took a 5-4 lead. In the eighth, Matt Ryan doubled down the left field line and strolled home on a Cannizaro triple to left-center field before coming in to score on a Middleton safety squeeze bunt a batter later.
Facundus (8-2) tossed two-thirds of an inning and allowed just one hit before Nick Pepitone entered in the eighth and tossed the final two innings scoreless, allowing just two hits with one strikeout to earn his 13th save of the season.
In the first contest, Schneeberger posted three hits and scored a run, while Boudreaux and Ryan each posted a pair of hits. Five different players posted RBI's and only Cannizaro scored two runs in the game. Tulane posted 11 hits in the contest to grab their fourth straight game with 10-plus hits and improve to 14-4 in one-run games on the year.
Game two started a little bit different for Tulane with starting pitcher Drew Zizinia issuing five walks and recording just two outs before being relieved by David Napoli in the first inning. Zizinia walked the first two batters of the inning before a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout game Marshall two outs. A walk to Victor Gomes loaded the bases, Nathan Gomez plated the first run with a bases loaded walk and Thor Meeks won an eight-pitch at bat with a walk to plate the second run.
Napoli entered and struck out the final batter of the first and then proceeded to hold the Thundering Herd scoreless over the next five innings. That allowed the Green Wave offense to get to Marshall starting pitcher Mike Mason, which they did with a four-run fifth inning. Tulane got their first thanks to a pair of wild pitches from Mason, as Crohan and Ryan singled - with Crohan moving to third on the Ryan base hit - and the first wild pitch scored Crohan. Hits from Cannizaro, Boudreaux and Schneeberger accounted for the RBI's in the inning and Tulane led 4-2 after five innings.
Marshall got a run back in the seventh on a Kenny Socorro sacrifice fly, but Cody Robinson hit a pinch-hit two run home run in the eighth inning to make it 6-3 in favor of the Green Wave.
Napoli tossed six and one-third innings of relief and fanned a career-high tying eight batters out of the bullpen. Andrew Garner came on and threw a perfect eighth inning before hitting the first batter of the ninth, which brought Pepitone out of the bullpen with a runner on and no one out.
A walk and a bunt single loaded the bases before another walk pushed the first run of the inning across the plate. A Socorro single tied the game at 6-6, before D.J. Ponder entered the game. Rhett Stafford then hit a single through a drawn in infield and the Thundering Herd stole a 7-6 ballgame.
Robinson posted the only multi-RBI game of the Green Wave in the nightcap, with Ryan posting the only multi-hit game for the Olive and Blue in game two.
Tulane and Marshall played two games on Friday afternoon and will not play on Saturday, May 14 due to inclement weather expected in the Charleston area. The series will finish up on Sunday, May 15 with a 9:30 contest.