May 23, 2012
PEARL, Miss. - Alex Byo had been one of the most consistent pitches on the Green Wave staff this season and on Wednesday (May 23) night at the Conference USA Championships presented by Trustmark, the junior threw eight of the biggest innings of the season to lead the Tulane baseball team to a 4-3 victory over East Carolina.
Byo was slow out of the gates, allowing three hits and a run to the first three batters he faced, but the right-hander settled in and allowed the Green Wave offense to take the lead - twice - and stymie the East Carolina (34-21-1) offense for eight-plus innings.
John Wooten drove in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but the Green Wave offense struck with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead against ECU starting pitcher Kevin Brandt. Jeremy Schaffer, Sean Potkay and Andrew Garner all singled to start the inning, with Garner knotting the score with a base hit to left field. After a sacrifice bunt, Garrett Cannizaro - who returned after injuring his right hand two weeks ago at Houston - grounded out to plate the second run of the game.
Byo (9-4) pitched out of trouble in the seventh inning, with help from Nick Schneeberger's 12th outfield assist of the season that cut down a runner at third base, and retired three of four batters in the eighth before allowing a leadoff single in the ninth ended the outing for the junior.
D.J. Ponder came on with a runner on first and no outs in the ninth. The senior got a pair of flyball outs, before a balk and a single from Corey Thompson pulled East Carolina within one run at 4-3. Bowen Woodson would make a spectacular over the shoulder running catch in foul territory to collect the final out of the game and preserve Ponders fifth save of the season.
Overall, Byo surrendered three runs on 11 hits, walked one and fanned three batters to pick up his team leading ninth win of the year. His eight innings of work tie his career-high and this was the 11th time this season that he tossed more than five innings in a start.
At the plate, Boudreaux and Garner each posted two-hit games, while Cannizaro grabbed his tenth multi-RBI game of the year. Boudreaux moved his hitting streak to ten games - his reached base streak is now at 25 games - and Schaffer pushed his hitting streak to eight games.
Tulane will continue their stay at the Conference USA Championships presented by Trustmark on Friday, May 25 with an 11:00 a.m. contest versus seventh-seeded UAB. The Green Wave will have Thursday, May 26 off, before taking to the diamond for the morning game versus the Blazers.
- Tulane leads the all-time series with East Carolina, 24-14.
- Tulane improved to 37-20 overall at the Conference USA Tournament and is now 7-5 as the #3-seed.
- The 37 wins are the most by a Conference USA school at the tournament.
- Brandon Boudreaux singled in the first inning to move his hitting streak to ten games and his reached base streak to 25 games.
- Jeremy Schaffer moved his hitting streak to eight games.
- Andrew Garner posted his 12th multi-hit game of the season on Wednesday night.
- Alex Byo tied his career-high with eight innings pitched on Wednesday night.
- Byo posted his team-leading ninth win of the season and is 9-4 on the year.
- D.J. Ponder posted his 12th save of the season with one scoreless inning of work.
- Ponder is now tied for fifth on the single season list with Joey Charron (2003).