May 17, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane baseball's hot hitting streak hit a bump in the road on Friday night at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium when the UAB pitchers held the Greenies to just five hits while mounting a rally in the ninth inning to put the Green Wave under, 4-2.
With the score tied at two heading into the top of the ninth, UAB (21-34, 6-17) strung together three-straight two-out hits to plate two runs, giving them the two runs they needed to tie up the series with Tulane (28-26, 11-12).
UAB starter Chase Mallard pitched 6.1 innings, allowing all five hits of the contest for the Green Wave - snapping Tulane's streak of double-digit hit contests. Cory Eller came on in relief of Mallard in the bottom of the seventh, and managed to strike out four in 2.2 innings of play.
"It was a tough game for us to lose," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "UAB outhit us. We only had five hits. Their pitcher settled in. We had a chance; we thought we had him on the ropes, when we had his pitch count up. We left the bases loaded, and then he just got settled in. We just couldn't get much going offensively."
UAB took the first lead of the game in the third, when senior lefty David Napoli allowed a leadoff single to Tyler Hamby. After striking out Griffin Gum and Ivan De Jesus, Napoli struck Adam Lau with a pitch to put runners at first and second. Napoli - making his final home start at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium - loaded the bases when he walked Ryan Prinzing, and then hit Jack Frost to score Hamby for the game's first run. The floodgates could have opened there with the bases loaded, but a stellar snag and glove-flip of a groundball from junior Bowen Woodson ended the inning without any further damage done.
The Blazers lead did not last long, as the Greenies put two runs on in the bottom of the third to go ahead. Freshman Richard Carthon - who went 2-for-4 on the day for his second straight multi-hit game - blooped a double into left field that hit the white line before anyone could reach it. The freshman moved to third on a wild pitch before Mallard issued a walk to junior Nick DiMaggio. Senior Brandon Boudreaux - who also went 2-for-4 for the second straight game - notched a single into right field that scored Carthon to tie the game. The Green Wave was not done, as Boudreaux stole second with two outs before a throw out attempt from UAB's catcher bounced into center field, allowing DiMaggio to cross home from third.
The Greenies nearly struck again in the bottom of the fourth after senior Brennan Middleton was plunked by a pitch. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Cameron Burns. Carthon nearly reached first on an infield grounder to first, with UAB's Tyler Mims tossing the ball to a covering Mallard, but a questionable call by first base umpire Anthony Carilli put Carthon out on the play. Middleton did move to third on the play, but he was left stranded as the inning ended.
UAB tied things up at two runs a piece in the fifth. Gum led the frame off with a double to right field before Napoli issued De Jesus a walk. Lau bunted both runners over for the first out of the inning, and Napoli walked Prinzing to load the bases. Senior Andrew Reeves came to the mound in relief of Napoli, and an immediate passed ball scored Gum from third. Reeves, however, was able to get out of the inning after loading the bases with a walk to Tanner Bryant.
Tulane went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, and UAB only sent three batters to the plate in the top of the sixth, with Tulane turning a double play on a ball hit by Gum.
The Blazers had another chance to go up in the top of the seventh, when De Jesus doubled to left center. A heads-up play by Reeves got De Jesus out at third on a fielder's choice bunt by Lau before lefty junior Brady Wilson came to the mound for the Green Wave. Wilson issued a walk to Prinzing before he was pulled in favor of junior Andrew Garner, who started the game as the designated hitter. Garner got Frost to pop up to senior Garrett Cannizaro in the infield before allowing a single to Bryant to load the bases. However, the Blazers left another three stranded when Mims popped up to Woodson.
After a one-out single by Carthon in the bottom of the seventh, Eller (4-2) came to the mound and recorded two quick outs. Garner (1-2) pitched an impressive bottom of the eighth, as he allowed one hit but struck three batters swinging.
The Greenies got into scoring position again in the bottom of the eighth when Garner reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cannizaro. After senior Sean Potkay walked, Tulane grounded into a double play to send the game to the ninth.
After two quick outs by Garner on the mound in the top of the ninth, Frost reached base on a walk before Bryant singled to left field, advancing Frost to third. With runners on the corners, Mims singled to left field to plate the go-ahead run, and pinch-hitter Harry Clark brought Bryant home on a single to left field, giving UAB a 4-2 lead.
Eller recorded three straight strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory for the Blazers.
Tomorrow's game will be the regular season finale for the Green Wave, as they host UAB for a 1pm CT contest. The game will be broadcast on 106.1 The Ticket and live stats can be followed on TulaneGreenWave.com.
Prior to the first pitch, Tulane will hold its annual Senior Day, where the team will honor the players who will move on after this year. A total of 11 players will participate in Senior Day.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.