May 26, 2011
PEARL, Miss. - It was the second time in a week that the Green Wave have played extra innings with the Pirates and on Thursday (May 26) at the Conference USA Tournament presented by Trustmark the Tulane baseball team dropped a 4-2 decision. The Olive and Blue left 12 runners on base and stranded the bases loaded in the seventh and the tenth innings.
"It was a tough loss for us," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We got a well pitched game from David (Napoli) and a great effort out of the bullpen by Nick (Pepitone). We came from behind against two of their top three pitchers and had chances to win in (the late innings). We just couldn't get the big hit. We got a great at bat from Cody and Matt (Ryan) to get it tied, but we left the bases loaded in the seventh and the tenth innings. Pepitone got three ground balls in the ninth, a few that were hit hard, but they found a hole...Our kids played hard, but we couldn't get the big hit."
In the third inning, the Pirates opened the scoring in the third inning when Mike Ussery walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Corey Thompson single to right field.
With East Carolina (38-19) leading 1-0, the Green Wave scratched across a run in the bottom of the fourth when Nick Schneeberger grounded into a double play to push Brandon Boudreaux across the plate. Boudreaux started the inning with a double to the wall in right field and moved to third on a Jeremy Schaffer single, later scoring on the double play.
Napoli threw six innings and allowed the two runs on four hits to fall to 1-4 on the season. The sophomore walked three and struck out five in his second start versus in East Carolina in a week.
The Green Wave (30-26) threatened in the bottom of the frame against ECU starting pitcher Mike Wright. Cody Robinson lead off the inning with a double to right field and pinch hitter Matt Ryan was hit by a pitch. After Quinn Pippin popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt, Garrett Cannizaro walked to load the bases. Brennan Middleton then hit a line drive that Thompson, the third baseman, made a diving catch to keep the Pirates in the lead. Kevin Brandt then entered for the Pirates and struck out pinch hitter Bowen Woodson to end the threat.
The Olive and Blue knotted the game at two runs apiece in the ninth inning when Robinson tripled to right center field and Ryan singled to shallow right field to drive in the game-tying RBI.
In the tenth, Pepitone (3-3) would work out of a bases loaded jam and ECU's Brandt would wiggle out of the same type of jam in the bottom half of the frame.
In the 11th, ECU would get three consecutive base hits with one out to push themselves ahead by two runs. Back-to-back singles from Ussery and Phillip Clark got the rally started and Thompson doubled to right-center field to plate both runners.
With the Pirates lead at 4-2, Quinn Pippin was hit by a pitch and Cannizaro walked before a Middleton sacrifice bunt. Brandt, however, got a strikeout and a fly ball out to end the game.
Pepitone tossed four and one thirds innings in his 100th career outing and allowed two runs on eight hits. He walked four batters and fanned two, but falls to 3-3 on the season. D.J. Ponder tossed the final two-thirds of an inning without allowing a hit.
Robinson was two-for-four in the contest with a double, a triple, a walk and a run scored. Cannizaro was on base four times, with a single and three walks, while Pippin and Ryan each singled and were hit by pitches. Ryan accounted for the team's only RBI, while Boudreaux doubled and scored Tulane's first run of the game.
Tulane will close out their stay at the Conference USA Championships presented by Trustmark on Friday afternoon against Houston. The Green Wave and the Cougars will take to the field for a 4:00 first pitch.