Junior Bowen Woodson Kept the Game Tied With a Diving Catch in the Ninth Inning Versus Marshall on Friday Night
May 18, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Leading 5-0 entering the sixth inning, the Tulane baseball team watched as Marshall chipped away and eventually knotted the score in the eighth, but a diving catch by Bowen Woodson in the ninth kept the game scoreless and Andrew Garner delivered with an RBI single up the middle in the 11th inning to push the Green Wave to a 6-5 victory on Friday (May 18) inside the gates of Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
"Bowen (Woodson) made one of the greatest plays that you will ever see with a game on the line," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "Even though he is struggling at the plate, that play was a game changer and one that you don't see very often. That was an unbelievable play."
Woodson made the play of the season in ninth inning of a tie game when he made the diving back-handed grab for the second out of the inning with runners on first and second and just one out. That kept the runners at bay and Tulane closer D.J. Ponder would hold the Thundering Herd offense off the scoreboard the rest of the way to set up Andrew Garner's heroics in the eleventh.
Nick Schneeberger got the 11th inning started with a base hit up the middles and moved to second when Jeremy Schaffer drew a walk with one out. After Marshall reliever Josh King posted the second out of the inning via strikeout, Schneeberger and Schaffer stole second and third, respectively, and Garner delivered the single up the middle to push Tulane to the 6-5 victory and lock up the #3 seed in the upcoming Conference USA Tournament presented by Trustmark.
"Andrew (Reeves) gave us a very solid start," said Jones, "and D.J. (Ponder) was very good again. Even though we didn't do what we needed to do in our short game, I give credit to their pitching staff. Andrew (Garner) got a fastball in the eleventh inning after he fouled one off earlier and just put a good swing on it."
Tulane (37-17, 14-9 C-USA) sent eight batters to the plate in the second inning and scored three times against Thundering Herd starting pitcher Mike Mason. It was the 39th time in 2012 that the Green Wave sent eight or more batters to the plate in an inning as Tucker Oakley plated a pair of runs with a bases loaded double and Woodson singled in the third run of the inning to make it a 3-0 Tulane lead.
The lead swelled to 5-0 when the Olive and Blue plated two more runs in the fifth inning to end the outing for Mason, but the Marshall bullpen came in a shutdown the offense the rest of the way to allow for an unthinkable comeback. After Cody Robinson and Oakley each drove in runs with singles, the Tulane offense would not record another hit.
Marshall (16-37, 4-19 C-USA) would score twice in the sixth and once in the seventh versus TU starting pitcher Andrew Reeves, added two runs against reliever Alex Facundus to tie the score at 5-5.Nathan Gomez started the scoring with a two-run double in the sixth and Thor Meeks plated the run in the seventh inning. In the eighth, Gray Stafford singled to plate the first run and, after D.J. Ponder entered on the mound for Tulane, Meeks doubled to right field to score one run, but Robinson gunned a runner down at the plate to keep it tied a 5-5.
The bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning when pinch hitter Frank Florio stepped in, but the senior was unable to push the run across and Tulane was headed for their fourth extra-inning game of the season.
Reeves tossed six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits and left leading 5-3. The junior walked two and struck out one in the no decision. Facundus allowed two runs on five hits in one and two-thirds innings of relief work before handing the ball to Ponder who threw the final three and one-thirds innings scoreless. Ponder allowed three hits and walked two, but didn't allow a Herd runner to cross the plate.
Schneeberger posted his 29th multi-hit game on the evening and moved his reached base streak to ten games, while Garner and Oakley each posted three hits on the night. Oakley led all players with three RBIs, but Garners only RBI was the biggest of the game for the Olive and Blue.
Tulane will look to collect their second series sweep of the season when the two teams will close out their series on Saturday, May 19 with a 1:00 start on the Turf at Turchin. The Green Wave will honor their four seniors, Frank Florio, D.J. Ponder, Jeremy Schaffer and Nick Schneeberger, on Senior Day in a pre-game ceremony inside the stadium.
- Tulane leads the all-time series, 16-6-1.
- With the win, Tulane locked up the #3 seed in the upcoming Conference USA Tournament presented by Trustmark.
- Tulane played their fourth extra-inning affair of the season on Friday, evening their record at 2-2 in those games with the victory.
- Tulane posted ten-plus hits for the 31st time in 2012 on Friday night.
- Tulane sent eight batters to the plate in the second inning, marking the 39th time this season they have sent eight or more batters to the plate in an inning.
- Brennan Middleton's 30-game reached base streak was snapped on Friday night with a 0-for-5 night at the plate.
- Nick Schneeberger moved his reached base streak to ten games on Friday night.
- D.J. Ponder posted his second win of the season and is now 2-0 with 11 saves.