May 25, 2012
PEARL, Miss. - It was an uphill battle for the Tulane baseball team from the time they stepped on the diamond at Trustmark Park on Friday (May 25) in their 6-3 loss to seventh-seeded UAB at the Conference USA Championships presented by Trustmark. The Green Wave stranded runners on base in seven of the nine innings and three late errors in the field led to four unearned runs for the Blazres in the defeat.
"We've been such a good defensive club all year, and today, too, but we made three errors," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "When you're fielding .980 (on the year), that's one of the reasons that we have had 38 wins, because we're so sound defensively. When you're fielding .980, sooner or later the odds are going to catch you. We didn't string together enough quality at bats, but you have to give credit to (UAB pitcher Chase Mallard), especially the way the game started. We just didn't pitch as well as we needed to in some spots. The bottom line is defensively, we had too many breakdowns."
Tulane (38-19) trailed by only two entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but two errors allowed our unearned runs to score over the next two innings and couldn't overcome the three-run deficit. In the sixth, Kyle McKenzie allowed the first two base runners to reach - via walk and base hit - a sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base and a line drive was snared by Sean Potkay at first base to record the second out. Potkay then tried to double off the runner at third, but threw wildly and a run crossed the plate.
UAB opened the scoring in the second inning against Tulane starting pitcher Andrew Reeves when five straight hitters reached base with one out in the inning. Keith DePew started the scoring with an RBI single and the second run came in on a fielders choice groundout to make it 2-0.
The Green Wave would get a run back in the fourth with help from a Blazers misstep in the field when Bowen Woodson grounded out to score Blake Crohan from third base. In the frame, Crohan singled, was safe at second on a throwing error by the UAB second baseman which allowed Andrew Garner to reach base on a fielders choice. Brennan Middleton then sacrifice the runners to second and third and Woodson delivered the first run of the game for Tulane.
In the seventh, the Olive and Blue answered the two runs that the Blazers put up in the bottom of the sixth when Woodson doubled to start the inning and Brandon Boudreaux singled to drive in the first run of the frame. After a pair of out were recorded by Chase Mallard - who was pinching on short notice when UAB starting pitcher Ben Bullard was hurt warming up before throwing a pitch in the game - the Blazers brought in Napoleon who promptly gave up a double to Jeremy Schaffer to make it a one-run game at 4-3.
Tulane would use four pitchers in the game with Reeves throwing two and one-thirds innings and allowing two runs on three hits with four walks. McKenzie tossed three and two-thirds frames with three unearned runs allowed on four hits. Garner threw one and one-thirds innings and allowed an unearned run, as well, before Tyler Mapes recorded the final two outs of the game on the mound.
UAB stranded 11 on base had base runners in all nine innings, while Tulane left nine on base and had someone aboard in seven of nine at-bats.
Boudreaux moved his hitting streak to 11 games with a seventh inning single and came around to score his 56th run of the year from the leadoff spot, while Crohan reached base three times in game. The junior was hit by a pitch, singled and doubled on the afternoon.
Tulane needs some help to get to the title game of the Conference USA Championships presented by Trustmark, but will first have to take care of business in their final game of pool play versus UCF at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 26. For Tulane to make the championship game, East Carolina needs to win their final two games and Tulane will have to defeat the Knights. If UCF wins their 3:00 contest with ECU today, then UAB will play Memphis in the championship game on Sunday.
- Tulane leads the all-time series with UAB, 40-16.
- Tulane holds a record of 37-21 at the Conference USA Tournament and is now 7-6 as the #3-seed.
- The 38 wins at the conference summit are the most by a Conference USA school.
- Brandon Boudreaux moved his hitting streak to 11 games with a seventh inning single.
- Boudreaux also pushed his reached base streak to a career-best 26 games.
- Jeremy Schaffer moved his hitting streak to nine games.