May 15, 2011
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - An early six-run lead turned into a late three-run deficit for the Tulane baseball team, but a pair of seniors came through on the mound and the offense tallied seven runs in the eighth inning to pull out a 15-12 victory over Marshall at Appalachian Power Park on Sunday afternoon. Tulane raced out to an early 7-1 advantage, but the Thundering Herd grabbed an 11-8 lead before the Green Wave took control with seven runs in the eighth inning to seal the win.
"I think it was a (really gutty effort)," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I think the key for us today was that we had some good, tough at bats. Garrett and Brennan each grabbed a couple of two-out RBI's, Brandon Boudreaux had a big day and Nick Boullosa played just as gutty as he could play. Matt Ryan had the big hit, and Jeremy Schaffer and Blake Crohan both came through big for us, as well. Drew Zizinia really had a great day for us on the mound. He came in after having the tough start on Friday and really stopped the bleeding today with a good effort. He did enough to get the ball to (Pepitone) in the end and I am proud of him for that."
Tulane (30-21, 10-11 C-USA) jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning when Jeremy Schaffer walked and moved to second when Nick Schneeberger reached on a fielding error by the Thundering Herd before a Blake Crohan single got the Green Wave on the scoreboard. Crohan later drove in the second run of the game for Tulane in the third inning with a single to score Brandon Boudreaux, who singled with one out in the inning.
A four-run top of the fifth inning pushed Tulane's lead to 7-1, but Marshall grabbed five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to send the game to the sixth inning with the Green Wave leading 7-6.
Alex Byo got the start for Tulane and lasted four and one-third innings in a no decision. The sophomore fanned three batters and allowed five runs on seven hits.
After Tulane extended their lead to 8-6 with a run in the top half of the sixth on an RBI double from Schaffer, Marshall would take the momentum back with four runs in their half of the inning. A pair of RBI hits, an error by the Green Wave and a wild pitch enabled the home team to nab a 10-8 lead after six.
Andrew Garner and Alex Facundus each gave up runs during the sixth inning. Garner entered in the fifth and gave up a two -run home run to Victor Gomez and later faced one batter in the sixth. Overall, Garner tossed two-thirds of an inning and allowed two runs on two hits with one strikeout. Facundus recorded two outs in the sixth, but allowed three runs on three hits before Drew Zizinia entered to fan the final batter of the inning.
Tulane failed to score in the top of the seventh and Marshall added a run in the bottom of the inning to take an 11-8 lead.
The Green Wave would send 11 batters to the plate in the eighth, however, and score seven runs on just three hits against four Herd pitchers. Schaffer got the scoring started with a two-RBI single after the bases were loaded by three straight walks. Crohan drove in his third RBI of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly, while Cannizaro and Middleton each had two-out, two-RBI hits to cap the scoring in the inning.
The seven run eighth pushed Tulane in front by a score of 15-11, but Marshall would draw within three runs as Stafford tripled to start the bottom of the eighth and scored on a Gomez sacrifice fly to make it a 15-12 contest.
Zizinia (3-1) tossed two and one-thirds innings and allowed two runs on three hits to go along with three strikeouts and one walk before handing the ball to Nick Pepitone in the ninth inning. The senior didn't allow a base runner to claim his 14th save of the 2011 season and move into a tie for second on the single season charts at TU.
"Zizinia could have gone back out in the ninth, but Pepitone is our guy in that situation," Jones said. "Nick threw a clean ninth and did his job to get the save. Both of those guys have been in the program for a long time and both of those guys have a resolve in them and we benefitted from that today."
Schaffer and Cannizaro each drove in four RBI's, while Crohan and Middleton each plated three runs of their own. Schaffer doubled twice to push his conference-leading total to 23 on the year and moves him into tenth on the single season charts at Tulane. Ten different Tulane hitters reached base in the contest and eight players scored runs in the Green Wave's second highest offensive out-put of the season.
The final regular series of the season will begin on Thursday, May 19 as Tulane will host East Carolina on the turf inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The series opener will start at 6:30 p.m. and be followed by a 6:30 contest on Friday evening and a 1:00 Sunday game to cap the regular season.